Amy Coney Barrett compares legal doctrine at center of ACA argument to Jenga

Amy Coney Barrett compares legal doctrine at center of ACA argument to Jenga


Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on Wednesday likened a legal doctrine that opponents are arguing would allow the Affordable Care Act to be struck down to the classic game Jenga.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was questioning Barrett on the concept of “severability,” or whether a law can still stand if one part of it is ruled illegal.

“If you picture severability being like a Jenga game, it’s kind of like, if you pull one out, can you pull it out while it all stands? If you pull two out, will it all stand?” Barrett said. “Severability is designed to say well would Congress still want the statute to stand even with the provision gone?”

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“That’s quite a definition,” Feinstein said. “I’m really impressed.”

Republican attorneys general arguing against the ACA employ the doctrine as evidence the Obama administration’s health-care law should be struck down if the court rules its individual coverage mandate is deemed unconstitutional.

Barrett’s views on

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