Government shutdown prompts Justice Department motion for extension in ACA case

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking an extension in an ACA lawsuit due to the ongoing partial government shutdown, according to The Hill.

In a motion filed Jan. 4, Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt asked a federal judge to extend a filing deadline related to the lawsuit because Justice Department lawyers "are unable to prepare their opposition at this time due to the lapse in appropriations," the report states.

The motion, which was added to the docket Jan. 7, was in response to a motion filed by House Democrats asking a federal judge to allow the House to intervene in Texas v. United States, the 20-state lawsuit that seeks to dismantle the ACA. A group of Democratic state attorneys general — led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra — is also now appealing U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling Dec. 14 that the ACA is unconstitutional.

The Justice Department opposes the motion filed by Democrat lawmakers, and the federal government's deadline to file its opposition is Jan. 24, according to The Hill. However, the publication notes Justice Department attorneys are not permitted to work until the government reopens.


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