A federal appeals court voted against rehearing a legal challenge to ObamaCare after a three-judge panel struck down the health care law’s individual mandate.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals voted 8-6, mostly along ideological lines, against rehearing the case, after one of the judges asked for a vote.
Neither party in the lawsuit had asked the circuit court to rehear the case. A coalition of blue states has already appealed to the Supreme Court, which is currently deciding whether to take it up.
The Trump administration has refused to defend the law in court and has cheered on the legal effort to dismantle it.
The 5h Circuit in December ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Americans purchase health insurance was unconstitutional. The ruling set off a furor among Democrats, who warned that it could upend the nation’s health care system.
“Under the current state of affairs, there is considerable doubt over whether millions of individuals will continue to be able to afford vitally important care,” House lawyers wrote in a brief earlier this month.
The Supreme Court this month rejected a request from the House and Democratic state attorneys general to expedite the case, all but eliminating the possibility that the case could be heard and decided before the 2020 presidential election.