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Protesters rally on March 23, 2016, in support of the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate. Credit: Diego M. Radzinschi / NLJ

A decision late Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act unlawful triggered a furious weekend debate about the validity of the ruling and its fate before an appeals court and ultimately before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 55-page decision in Texas v. United States, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, agreed with 20 states challenging the law that congressional action last year to eliminate the penalty imposed by the individual mandate in the act made it unconstitutional. In the more controversial part of O’Connor’s decision, he said that the demise of the mandate rendered the entire law invalid, because it could not be severed from the mandate.

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Tony Mauro

Tony Mauro, based in Washington, covers the U.S. Supreme Court. A lead writer for ALM's Supreme Court Brief, Tony focuses on the court's history and traditions, appellate advocacy and the SCOTUS cases that matter most to business litigators. Contact him at [email protected] On Twitter: @Tonymauro

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