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Nat'l Fed'n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius

Supreme Court of the United States

March 26, 2012, Argued. March 27, 2012, Argued. March 28, 2012, Argued; June 28, 2012, Decided 1

Nos. 11-393, 11-398 and 11-400

Opinion

 [*529]  [**2577]  Chief Justice Roberts announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III-C, an opinion with respect to Part IV, in which Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan join, and an opinion with respect to Parts III-A, III-B, and III-D.

 [*530]  Today we resolve constitutional challenges to two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase a health insurance policy providing a minimum  [*531]  level of coverage; and the Medicaid expansion, which gives funds to the States on the condition that they provide specified health care to all citizens whose income falls below a certain threshold. We do not consider whether the Act embodies  [*532]  sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation's elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions.

 [*533]  In our federal system, the National Government possesses only limited powers; the States and the people retain the  [****14] remainder. Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that “the question respecting the extent of  [*534]  the powers actually granted” to the Federal Government “is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.” McCulloch v.  [***465]  Maryland, 17 U.S. 316, 4 Wheat. 316, 405, 4 L. Ed. 579 (1819). In this case we must again determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess. Resolving this controversy requires us to examine both the limits of the Government's power, and our own limited role in policing those boundaries.

The Federal Government “is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers.” Ibid. That is, rather than granting general authority to perform all the conceivable functions of government, the Constitution lists, or enumerates, the Federal Government's powers. Congress may, for example, “coin Money,” “establish Post Offices,” and “raise and support Armies.” Art. I, § 8, cls. 5, 7, 12. The enumeration of powers is also a limitation of powers, because “[t]he enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.” Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1, 9 Wheat. 1, 195, 6 L. Ed. 23 (1824).  [****15] The Constitution's express conferral of some powers makes clear that it does not grant others. And the Federal Government “can exercise  [*535]  only the powers granted to it.” McCulloch,supra, at 405, 4 Wheat. 316, 4 L. Ed. 579 .

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567 U.S. 519 *; 132 S. Ct. 2566 **; 183 L. Ed. 2d 450 ***; 2012 U.S. LEXIS 4876 ****; 80 U.S.L.W. 4579; 2012-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,423; 109 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 2012-2563; 53 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 1513; 80 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 501; 23 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 480; 2012 WL 2427810

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, et al., Petitioners v. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al., Petitioners v. FLORIDA et al. FLORIDA, et al., Petitioners v. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES et al.

Prior History:  [****1] ON WRITS OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT.

Florida v. United States HHS, 648 F.3d 1235, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 16806 (11th Cir. Fla., 2011)

Disposition: The court of appeals’ judgment was reversed insofar as it struck down § 5000A and permitted withdrawal of all Medicaid funding under § 1396c. The judgment was otherwise affirmed. 5-4 Decision; 3 opinions; 1 concurrence in part and dissent in part; 2 dissents.

CORE TERMS

Medicaid, Commerce, funds, regulation, federal government, individual mandate, coverage, spending, health insurance, provisions, taxes, conditions, healthcare, costs, minimum coverage, expenditures, uninsured, health-care, cases, interstate commerce, wheat, Anti-Injunction Act, billion, commercial power, insurers, powers, buy, invalid, quotation, marks

Healthcare Law, Payment Systems, Insurance Coverage, General Overview, Public Health & Welfare Law, Healthcare, Health Insurance, Tax Law, Tax Credits & Liabilities, Civil Penalties, Medicaid, State Plans, Compliance, Coverage, Mandatory Services, Federal Tax Administration & Procedures, Tax Injunction Act, Credits, Overassessments & Refunds, Civil Actions for Refunds, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Constitutional Law, Fundamental Rights, Procedural Due Process, Double Jeopardy, Congressional Duties & Powers, Spending & Taxation, Interpretation of Federal Tax Statutes, Collection of Tax, Methods & Timing, Assessments of Tax, Assessment Authority, Collection Authority, Methods of Assessment, Criminal Law & Procedure, Criminal Offenses, Acts & Mental States, Criminal Offenses & Penalties, Income Tax, Commerce Clause, Limitations