Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul recently joined multistate coalitions in lawsuits on two important issues: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and federal fuel efficiency standards.
Affordable Care Act
AG Kaul has joined five other attorneys general in a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the ACA.
Wisconsin and Texas had originally led the litigation challenging the ACA under former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, but AG Kaul withdrew Wisconsin from the lawsuit after taking office. The lawsuit argues that the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and, because the individual mandate is “essential” to the ACA, the remaining provisions of the law are also invalid.
In the latest brief, the attorneys general of Wisconsin, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania urge the Supreme Court to keep the remaining provisions of the ACA in place. The AGs argue that the individual mandate is severable from the remainder of the ACA’s substantive provisions. The AGs also argue that states rely on the ACA for their health care systems and that the ACA has increased access to while reducing the costs of health care.
Fuel Efficiency Standards
AG Kaul has also joined a multistate coalition challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of fuel efficiency standards.
The federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Environmental Protection Agency in late March issued a final rule amending fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks. The rule increases stringency of standards by 1.5 percent each year through model year 2026, whereas standards issued by the previous administration in 2012 would have required 5 percent annual increases. NHTSA and EPA touted the rule as balancing environmental protection, regulatory costs for manufacturers, and affordability for consumers.
The attorneys general filed a lawsuit arguing the rule violates the Clean Air Act, Energy Policy & Conservation Act and Administrative Procedure Act. According to AG Kaul, the coalition plans to argue that the rule violates congressional mandates in these Acts and that NHTSA and EPA improperly relied on erroneous information in their analysis supporting the standards.