A federal appeals court struck down the Affordable Care Act's requirement for individuals to have health insurance, The New York Times reports. While the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared that the “individual mandate” was unconstitutional, it did not invalidate the rest of the law. Instead, the appeals court sent the case back to a lower court to “conduct a more searching inquiry” into which of the law's parts could remain standing without the requirement. The punt back to a lower court essentially leaves the fate of the ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, in limbo—although it will not immediately affect the law. According to the Associated Press, the health care policy will remain in place as the case continues.
The judge who previously heard the case, Judge Reed O’Connor, struck down the entire law—ruling that the “individual mandate” could not be separated from the law itself. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, representing one of the states that argued to keep the law, told reporters he planned on petitioning the Supreme Court to take the case.