ACLJ & 74 Members of Congress Urge Appeals Court To Uphold Decision Declaring ObamaCare Unconstitutional in Florida Challenge
WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), deeply involved in challenging the health care law, today filed an amicus brief representing 74 members of Congress urging a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court ruling that declared ObamaCare unconstitutional in the multi-state lawsuit headed by Florida.
"This is a case where the federal district court got it right," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "The fact is that the individual mandate - forcing Americans to purchase health care insurance - violates the Commerce Clause, giving Congress power to act beyond its constitutional authority. Further, the individual mandate provision is tied directly to the health care law - meaning if the mandate is unconstitutional, the entire law must be thrown out. We're confident that the appeals court will reach the same conclusion - one more legal step on the road to the Supreme Court, where we're hopeful the high court will put an end to this government-run, pro-abortion health care law once and for all."
The ACLJ today filed its amicus brief in support of the Florida lawsuit challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and on behalf of 74 members of Congress - including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor - and more than 70,000 Americans who signed on to ACLJ's Constitutional Committee to Challenge the President & Congress on Health Care, which opposes the individual mandate.
In its filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the ACLJ brief asserts: "The Commerce Clause does not authorize Congress to regulate the inactivity of American citizens by compelling them to buy a good or service (such as health insurance) as a condition of their lawful residence in this country or pay a penalty. Because the individual mandate requires citizens to purchase health insurance or be penalized, the PPACA exceeds Congress's Constitutional authority."
Further, the brief argues that since the mandate is unconstitutional, the entire law must be declared unconstitutional.
"Because the individual mandate is a foundation of the PPACA's overall operation, Congress could not have intended the individual mandate to be severable from the rest of the PPACA," the brief adds. "In fact, it is fair to say that without the individual mandate, there would be no PPACA. These observations, along with the fact that Congress deleted a severability provision from an earlier version of the national health care reform legislation, lead only to one conclusion: the individual mandate is not severable from the PPACA's remaining provisions."
The amicus brief is posted here.
Here's a complete list of the 74 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are represented in the brief:
Paul Broun, Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Steve Austria, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Roscoe Bartlett, Marsha Blackburn, Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton, John Campbell, Francisco "Quico" Canseco, Eric Cantor, Mike Conaway, Scott DesJarlais, Blake Farenthold, Stephen Fincher, Chuck Fleischmann, John Fleming, Bill Flores, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Bob Gibbs, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Tom Graves, Tim Griffin, Gregg Harper, Vicky Hartzler, Wally Herger, Tim Huelskamp, Randy Hultgren, Lynn Jenkins, Bill Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Mike Kelly, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Jeff Landry, James Lankford, Robert Latta, Cynthia Lummis, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Thaddeus McCotter, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Gary Miller, Jeff Miller, Randy Neugebauer, Richard Nugent, Alan Nunnelee, Pete Olson, Ron Paul, Steve Pearce, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Mike Pompeo, Bill Posey, Ben Quayle, Scott Rigell, Phil Roe, Steve Scalise, Bobby Schilling, Lamar Smith, Marlin Stutzman, Tim Walberg, Joe Walsh, Daniel Webster, and Don Young.
The ACLJ is challenging ObamaCare directly with its own federal lawsuit which is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after a lower court dismissed the suit. The ACLJ's opening brief us due May 16th and oral arguments are scheduled before the appeals court in September. The ACLJ's lawsuit argues that Congress does not have the power under the Constitution to require Americans to purchase health insurance and that the mandate also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
At the same time, the ACLJ is backing Virginia's legal challenge now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit with an amicus brief filed on behalf of 49 members of Congress.
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice focuses on constitutional law and is based in Washington, D.C. The ACLJ is online at www.aclj.org.
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SOURCE American Center for Law and Justice