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Senior Justice Department attorney quits after Sessions rescinds defense of Obamacare

Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A senior attorney at the Justice Department has resigned in response to the agency's decision last week not to defend the Affordable Care Act in court because it believes the individual mandate provision is unconstitutional, the Washington Post reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

The details: Joel McElvain, who reportedly has been working at the Justice Department for more than 20 years, tendered his resignation on Friday — the day Attorney General Jeff Sessions informed congressional lawmakers about his decision on Obamacare. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision in 2012, and the Trump administration's move has roll back years of legal work McElvain carried out on this issue. The individual mandate requires most people to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty.