March 26, 2012
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Attorney General Abbott Attends First Day of Federal Health Care Reform Supreme Court Oral Arguments


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott attended the first day of oral argument on the federal health care challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court, which focused on the Anti-Injunction Act and whether the parties challenging the law can sue before the law’s individual mandate – and the penalty imposed for not complying with the mandate – takes effect in 2014. Attorney General Abbott had this to say about today’s oral argument:

On the crowds in the plaza of the U.S. Supreme Court:

“I have been here to the U.S. Supreme Court multiple times and I’ve never seen crowds like this. The entire plaza around the Supreme Court is completely crowded with protestors against Obamacare and with supporters of Obamacare. This shows that this law is something that has gripped the entire nation. Most people here want to see Obamacare overturned.”

U.S. Supreme Court link to audio and transcript of today’s oral arguments

On the issues covered in today’s oral argument:

“The issue is whether or not this is or is not a tax. The truth of the matter is, this is imposed as a penalty, not a tax. The purpose of a tax is to raise revenue, and the purpose of the Obamacare penalty is not to raise revenue. As the justices pointed out, if Obamacare is successful, no one will be paying a penalty because everyone will have gone out and bought the health care insurance imposed by Obamacare. Therefore, clearly the Anti-Injunction Act does not apply – this is not a tax.

“As Justice Alito pointed out today, the Department of Justice lawyers in court today were contending that this is not a tax, but he did note that they’re going to be right back in court tomorrow contending that in fact this is a tax – once again pointing out the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration position.