The Yale Law Journal Online: “Early-Bird Special” Indeed!: Why the Tax Anti-Injunction Act Permits the Present Challenges to the Minimum Coverage Provision

The Yale Law Journal Online recently published an essay by Michael C. Dorf and Neil Siegel entitled “Early-Bird Special” Indeed!: Why the Tax Anti-Injunction Act Permits the Present Challenges to the Minimum Coverage Provision. In the Essay, Dorf and Siegel examine whether the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (TAIA) bars the Supreme Court from reviewing the current challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). While most of the commentary on the TAIA issue has focused on the question of whether the ACA’s penalty provisions fall within the TAIA’s definition of “tax,” Dorf and Siegel adopt an alternative and original approach. They argue that the TAIA does not bar the review because “the present challenges to the ACA do not have ‘the purpose’ of restraining tax assessment or collection.” For a purpose to bar review, it must be immediate because if the TAIA extended to challenges with the indirect purpose of restraining tax assessment or collection, it would also bar tax refund suits. ACA challenges cannot have the direct purpose of barring review because “the very authority to assess or collect will not exist until long after the litigation is concluded.”

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