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S.Res. 581 (115th): A resolution authorizing the Senate Legal Counsel to represent the Senate in Texas v. United States, No. 4:18-cv-00167-O (N.D. Tex.).

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About the resolution

If the president declines to defend the constitutionality of a federal law in court, should the opposing party in Congress do so?


20 Republican-led states, led by Texas, sued in February to overturn the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare).

Their argument was that the Supreme Court, in upholding the law’s constitutionality in 2012, did so on the basis that the individual mandate — the central part of the law requiring all Americans have health insurance or pay a financial penalty — was a permissible tax.

However, President Trump and the Republican Congress repealed that individual mandate portion of the law as part of December’s tax reform. Proponents argue that the Supreme Court’s 2012 logic thus no longer holds.

In a surprising turn of events, Trump’s ...

Sponsor and status

Joe Manchin III

Sponsor. Senator for West Virginia. Democrat.

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Last Updated: Jul 19, 2018
Length: 3 pages
Jul 19, 2018
115th Congress (2017–2019)
Died in a previous Congress

This resolution was introduced on July 19, 2018, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.


48 Cosponsors (46 Democrats, 2 Independents)



Jul 19, 2018

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

S.Res. 581 (115th) was a simple resolution in the United States Congress.

A simple resolution is used for matters that affect just one chamber of Congress, often to change the rules of the chamber to set the manner of debate for a related bill. It must be agreed to in the chamber in which it was introduced. It is not voted on in the other chamber and does not have the force of law.

Resolutions numbers restart every two years. That means there are other resolutions with the number S.Res. 581. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This simple resolution was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

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