Baldwin v. Sebelius

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 08-12-2011
  • Case #: 10-56374
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Rymer for the Court; Circuit Judges F. Fernandez and Tallman
  • Full Text Opinion

A generalized grievance, without a genuine threat of prosecution, fails to show an injury in fact and is not sufficient to give plaintiffs standing.

Steve Baldwin and the Pacific Justice Institute (“Institute”) brought suit challenging the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Act”). This provision, which takes effect in 2014, “requires those who are non-exempt to maintain qualifying health insurance or pay a penalty.” The district court held that neither Baldwin nor the Institute alleged an injury in fact. Baldwin failed to argue that he did not and would not have qualifying health insurance in 2014 and the Institute failed to claim that the “individual mandate” would apply to it or that it had enough full-time employees to be subjected to the “shared employer responsibility” provision. The Ninth Circuit held that this was a “generalized grievance, for which no standing lies.” Baldwin did not establish a “genuine threat of imminent prosecution” required for a justiciable pre-enforcement challenge of the Act. The Institute failed to establish standing, as the provision does not apply to employers. AFFIRMED.

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