The judges in the majority said a provision in the law, referred to as the "individual mandate", which required people to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty, was invalid after Congress removed the tax penalty in 2017, rendering the law unenforceable.
The ACA's proponents asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, and earlier this month, the justices directed the Trump administration and Republican state officials behind the lawsuit to respond. They also hoped the legal challenge would put an election-year spotlight on the Trump administration's continued effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit and others like it claim that the public has a constitutional right to "bodily integrity" that was violated. While that congressional action appeared to end the threat to the law itself, the Texas attorney general filed a suit in a conservative district near Fort Worth and argued the entire law should be struck down as unconstitutional because the tax penalty had been voided. They argued that there was no rush for the Supreme Court to consider the case because the district court needed to make a decision on the issue of severability before the top court should take up the case.
As NBC News' Pete Williams explained at the time, "Such a highly abbreviated timeline - the rules normally allow a month for filing a response - gives the court the option to take up the case during its current term, which would mean a ruling on a contentious issue this spring, just as the presidential campaign heats up".
The court's review could still occur, but likely not before the 2020 general election.
"Absent any operative ruling invalidating the ACA's other provisions in the interim, the accelerated review petitioners seek is unnecessary", he added. The highest court left the door open to reviewing the case later, but smacked down the Democrats' request for expedition. It is unclear, however, when or whether the Supreme Court will decide to hear this case and rule on the ACA's constitutionality.