The ruling threatens to dismantle the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges. O'Connor is a conservative Republican appointee who previously blocked other Obama-era policies. Bloomberg has more, with the publication adding that the DOJ tried to argue that the individual mandate, including provisions to keep the premium rates the same among healthy individuals and those with pre-existing conditions, should be struck down, but keep the rest of the law intact. The judge ruled that the law's individual mandate violates the Constitution and therefore the entire ACA violates the Constitution. The Supreme Court may or may not choose to hear the appeal, however.
The Republican led House and Senate, under President Donald Trump, outlawed the individual mandate in the tax cut law previous year.
"Today's ruling enjoining Obamacare halts an unconstitutional exertion of federal power over the American health care system while our multistate coalition lawsuit works its way through the courts", Paxton said in the statement.
"The judge's decision vindicates President Trump's position that Obamacare is unconstitutional". A federal judge has struck down the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
However, until any appeals process is finished, the act will remain the law of the land, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million "nonelderly adults" with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show.
They further argued that the whole health care law was no longer valid without the tax. If they do, given the changed composition of the Supreme Court since the 2012 ruling, it is possible the Supreme Court will agree with Judge O'Connor's ruling.
"The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted.
"Today's ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for health care, and on America's faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement, Bloomberg reports, adding that a "spokeswoman for Becerra said an appeal will be filed before January 1".
This is a developing story.