Texas Judge Reed O'Connor barred enforcement of the Affordable Care Act's section designed to protect citizens based on gender identity and those seeking abortions, just a day before said protections were scheduled to go into effect. Now, President Obama has made a final stand to uphold his legislation protecting transgender people and women seeking abortions by asking a federal appeals court to dimiss O'Connor's decision.
Obama's Justice Department filed three arguments against O'Connor's ruling, which claimed the Affordable Care Act's protections of individuals based on sex exceeded the executive branch's authority. The Justice Department countered by saying the Affordable Care Act had not violated the Administrative Procedure Act, as O'Connor claimed.
The Justice Department also argued that states opposing the protections could, in theory, “ignore [the guidance] without legal consequence," as it is civil rights law that would enforce punishment for disregarding the protections, not the ACA itself.
Obama's appeal finally argues that O'Connor's ruling was too broad, as his decision affected protections for the entire nation, and not just the eight states filing against the ACA's protections.
This legal struggle comes as Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who's long voted against the LGBTQ community, is poised to take over as U.S. Attorney General, giving him the power to undo many of the laws and protections in place that protect equal rights of all American citizens.
Read the entire filing, here.