Liberty Counsel Files Response to Federal Government's Request to Dismiss Healthcare Suit

Sep 3, 2010

Lynchburg, VA – Today Liberty Counsel has filed a brief arguing that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia should deny the federal government’s motion to dismiss Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit challenging the 2,409-page healthcare bill signed into law on March 23, 2010. Liberty Counsel filed the first private party lawsuit in the nation against the healthcare bill only hours after it was signed into law by President Obama. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of Liberty University and five individuals from throughout the United States, asked the Court to declare the healthcare law unconstitutional. The individual and employer insurance mandates are unconstitutional. It is beyond the authority of Congress to mandate that individuals involuntarily participate in commerce by purchasing an insurance product. 

In its brief filed in opposition to the motion, Liberty Counsel states that the Plaintiffs’ claims are ripe for review because the law’s unprecedented intrusion into Plaintiffs’ private lives has an immediate effect on their constitutional rights. The government attempted to argue that the law is valid by creating an expansive definition of “interstate commerce” to include regulation of decisions not to buy health insurance. According to the government Defendants, Congress can compel citizens to involuntarily participate in commerce by mandating that they purchase a product or pay a penalty merely because they are sentient and will undoubtedly some day require health care. Defendants also argue that Congress could impose the penalty because it has broad power to enact a tax, so long as it generates revenue. In its brief, Liberty Counsel challenges these claims as contradictory to the limited powers granted to Congress in the U.S. Constitution and to the fundamental personal rights guaranteed to all Americans. 

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The Department of Justice has argued that Congress can force everyone to buy insurance in order to make it affordable to all. This socialist mentality would allow Congress to nationalize anything on the assumption that all must pay in order to make the object of regulation affordable to all. If that is true, then there is no limit on what Congress can regulate. This healthcare law is an unprecedented expansion of federal power and regulation. It is unconstitutional. It represents everything that is wrong with the failed political philosophy of socialism. The power of the federal government to regulate has limits. This healthcare law is far beyond those limits.”