, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD: What do questions posed by the Court of Appeals in the Affordable Care Act appeal mean? (Short answer: Potential bad news for the ACA.)
1/ In the tweet (and short thread) above, Professor Bagley notes that the Court of Appeals (the "Fifth Circuit") asked the parties answers to specific questions about "standing." This is important news that could signal a bad result for those defending the ACA.
2/ Specifically, because the Trump Administration stopped defending the Affordable Care Act after a federal judge in Texas ruled the law is unconstitutional, it looks like the federal Court of Appeals may rule that no one has "standing" to appeal the ruling.
3/ "Standing" is a concept that limits who can sue to people who have a direct connection to the harm that the lawsuit is about. This ensures that random people can't sue simply because they don't like what someone is doing.
4/ This concept is related to the Constitutional limit that courts can only decide actual disputes. They can't just give their opinions about general topics.

Standing is an important concept and courts regularly consider it in lawsuits.
5/ But many believe courts look harder at standing (or other concepts that permit them not to decide an issue) when they want to avoid deciding the substance of a case. Here, it may mean the Court of Appeals doesn't want to overturn the ruling that the ACA is unconstitutional.
6/ If the Court of Appeals did consider the substance of the ruling by the federal judge, it is very likely that the case would be overturned. But they would not consider it if there is no "standing."
7/ The standing issue here is whether the House of Representatives or various states that have intervened have standing to appeal the ruling. The states have a better argument than the House of Representatives.
8/ If the Court of Appeals rules that none of them have standing, that case can go to the Supreme Court on that limited question. So nothing might happen soon because the Supreme Court could consider the "standing" issue, a process that could take many months.
9/ If the Supreme Court didn't take the case, the ruling by the federal judge in Texas striking down the Affordable Care Act would stand. It's not clear to me what the consequences of that would be without looking at this more closely, but it is certainly cause for concern. /end
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