States Permitted to Continue Part of Their Challenge to Healthcare Law

Oct 14, 2010

Judges sides with Attorney Generals against Obamacare

Pensacola, FL – U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson has denied the federal government’s request to dismiss all of the claims raised against Obamacare by sixteen state Attorneys General, four state Governors, the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), and private citizens. Judge Vinson’s decision will bolster Liberty Counsel’s opposition to the government’s motion to dismiss the case it filed against Obamacare on behalf of Liberty University and private citizens. 

Judge Vinson dismissed four of the six causes of action brought by the states and let stand two causes of action: one which challenges the act’s Medicaid provisions and another which challenges the individual mandate to purchase insurance as exceeding Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause. The latter claim is also part of the suit filed by Liberty Counsel and the subject of the motion to dismiss by the government in that case. Judge Vinson agreed with the states that Congress’ attempt to justify the individual mandate was an unprecedented attempt to regulate Americans solely because they are alive and citizens of the United States. Similar Commerce Clause challenges were upheld in Virginia’s challenge to the healthcare act but dismissed by a Michigan district court in a suit brought by the Thomas More Law Center. 

In an introduction to his opinion, Judge Vinson addressed the polarized positions regarding the healthcare act that was signed into law on March 22, 2010. “There are some who believe the Act is designed to strengthen the private insurance market and build upon free market principles, and others who believe it will greatly expand the size and reach of the federal government and is intended to create a socialized government healthcare system.” Judge Vinson noted that while these positions are noteworthy, they are beyond the scope of the limited questions he was asked to address. 

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, will present oral argument opposing the government’s motion to dismiss Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit on October 22, 2010 in Lynchburg Virginia at 1101 Court Street, courtroom One. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. but anyone wishing to see the proceedings should arrive at least 15 minutes early. Mr. Staver will be available for interviews following the argument.

Mr. Staver commented: “I expected the judge to allow this case to go forward because this new healthcare law is unprecedented in its scope. If Congress can pass a law mandating that every American purchase health insurance, then it could mandate that everyone purchase Chevrolets in order to bring down the price of GM products. At the end of the day this healthcare law will be ruled unconstitutional because it exceeds the authority of Congress. This healthcare law is the most significant threat to personal liberty to come out of Congress. It represents the essential elements of socialism.”

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