Skip to content
Main Menu
Utah Attorney General
Attorney General
Sean D. Reyes
Utah Office of the Attorney General
Secondary Navigation

Unconstitutional: Federal judge rules on post-penalty ACA

December 14, 2018

Tonight, a U.S. District Court ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional.  Utah has long believed the ACA was a clear example of impermissible federal overreach and joined a coalition of 20 states to ask the courts to reconsider the law in light of changes Congress made to the federal tax code in 2017.  Upon release of the decision, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes made the following statement: 

Utah was confident this would be the Texas district court’s ruling and agrees with the decision.  The logic is clear – when Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty in 2017, it removed the tenuous link on which the Supreme Court relied to deem the ACA constitutional.

We expect this decision will be appealed and look forward to a final resolution in the U.S. Supreme Court. If plaintiffs prevail, it should clear a path for the states and Congress to move forward with solutions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions, and adult children but without unconstitutional mandates. Such solutions will work better for Americans and be consistent with constitutional limits on government power. 

We filed this case hoping small business, individuals, and families whose costs and premiums have increased dramatically due to the ACA get the relief they deserve.

You can read U.S. District Judge Reed O’Conner’s 55-page opinion and ruling here and the original complaint here (33 pages).  

In this action, Utah joined sister-states Texas, Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

Previous Utah AG posts on this issue: 

Utah Joins Lawsuit Against Obamacare (March 2018)

DOJ Responds to Utah ACA Lawsuit (June 2018)





Photo by rawpixel