The Deputy Texas Attorney General who won Friday night's surprise ruling declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional says he made a common sense argument, and he is confident that the decision will be upheld on appeal, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
In an interview with 1200 WOAI news, Darren McCarty said he wasn't surprised by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling declaring Obamacare to be in violation of the constitution.
"When Obamacare was upheld in the original decision, Chief Justice Roberts said Congress could not use its power under the Commerce Clause to make people buy insurance," he said. "But Chief Justice Roberts then joined the liberal wing of the court and decided that a 'savings construction' that relied on the penalty that underlied the Individual Mandate was a tax."
He said that allowed Roberts to argue that Obamacare was within the taxing authority given to Congress by the Constitution, and as such, is legal.
He said that was the single prop that upheld Obamacare, and that prop was removed by Congress last December, when the tax penalty for not buying health insurance was removed as part of the 2017 tax cut.
"Importantly, what it didn't do is eliminate the individual mandate, and it didn't eliminate any other provisions of the Affordable Care Act."
Next step is the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is known as one of the most conservative courts in the country.
"I feel good that we have a very very good Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and I think our arguments are the right ones."
McCarty rejects claims by Democrats that filing the Obamacare lawsuit in the court of Judge O'Connor, who has a demonstrated history of opposition to Obama Administration mandates...it was Judge O'Connor who rejected the Obama Education Department's guidance to public schools to open restrooms and locker rooms to transgender students, was a case of 'judge shopping.'
"Judge O'Connor had several Affordable Care Act cases before him, so it was a logical choose," he said.
He added that twenty other states joined Texas in its lawsuit, so it was not simply Texas, but a 'broad coalition' which supported the end of Obamacare.