Health & Spirit

In court, it's red Texas vs. blue California in the battle over Obamacare

Chuck Lindell, Austin American-Statesman on

Published in Health & Fitness


The oral arguments in New Orleans, where the 5th Circuit Court is based, will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, with each side having 45 minutes.

The court rejected requests to stream the arguments live but said it will make an audio recording available on its website within one hour after the session ends.

The Republican states will be represented by Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins, the chief appellate lawyer in Paxton's office who will share time with a lawyer from the Justice Department.

The Democratic states will be represented by Samuel Siegel, deputy solicitor general of California, who will share time with a lawyer for the U.S. House.

Two judges on the panel were named by Republican presidents, one by a Democrat:

-- Carolyn Dineen King, nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

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-- Jennifer Walker Elrod, nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007.

-- Kurt Engelhardt, named by Trump last year.

The panel has no deadline to issue its decision. The losing side will be able to ask all 16 active judges on the court to reconsider that ruling and, ultimately, ask the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its own decision on the future of the Affordable Care Act.

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