On Friday, the Fifth Circuit granted the Department of Justice’s request that appeal proceedings be temporarily paused. Department of Justice attorneys are prohibited from working during the shutdown, and argued that, without a halt to the proceedings, they would be forced to miss a deadline.
Last month, Judge O’Connor held that, because Congress has eliminated the tax associated with the individual mandate, Obamacare can no longer be justified under the Taxing Power. Democratic-led States quickly appealed.
Today’s appellate pause demonstrates the wisdom of Judge O’Connor’s refusal to grant a nationwide injunction coast to coast. This exercise of remedial restraint is a model for future district courts and means the federal appellate courts (and potentially the Supreme Court) will have an opportunity to address the case in due course.