Tags: Group of 63 Lawmakers Joins Suit to Derail Obamacare

Group of 63 Lawmakers Joins Suit to Derail Obamacare

Friday, 19 Nov 2010 03:55 PM

Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and 62 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a court brief backing a lawsuit by 20 states challenging the legality of the Obama administration’s healthcare legislation.

The filing by Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and the other lawmakers is one of seven submitted to U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, by various factions this week as he weighs a U.S. motion to throw out the lawsuit.

A group of about 40 economics scholars, including Nobel laureates Eric Maskin, George Akerlof and Kenneth Arrow, today filed their own brief, arguing in favor of the legislative package called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“The requirement to obtain a minimal level of health insurance is predicated on the unique characteristics of the health-care market,” they said, including “the unavoidable need for medical care,” the unpredictability of that need and the inability of care providers to decline care in an emergency.

Led by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the states initially sued on March 23, the same day U.S. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, signed the measure into law. The state officials, who are all Republicans except for Democrat Buddy Caldwell of Louisiana, argued that the law unconstitutionally burdened states with increased costs and individuals with the duty to procure coverage.

‘Without Prior Precedent’

Vinson in October ruled that the case could go forward after finding that the U.S. government’s expansion of power is “simply without prior precedent.” He is scheduled to hear further argument on Dec. 16.

“Congress cannot pass any law that seems to most efficiently address a national problem,” Bachmann and the other representatives said in a brief filed in part by the Washington- based American Center for Law and Justice.

“Every federal law must derive from one of the grants of authority found in the Constitution,” the legislators and the ACLJ said today.

The American Nurses Association, claiming it represents 3.1 million registered nurses, submitted a friend of the court brief today supporting the administration’s legislation, calling it “a significant achievement” for the patients served by association members.

Two days ago, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the non- profit infant health advocate March of Dimes and other organizations also filed a brief backing the act.

John Boehner’s Brief

Thirty-two Republican U.S. Senators and in-coming House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, have submitted papers arguing the legislation represents an unconstitutional expansion of Congressional legislative powers.

In his ruling last month, Vinson allowed Florida to proceed on its claim that Medicaid would be expanded dramatically and the states cannot realistically opt out.

He threw out arguments that the law interferes with the state’s sovereignty as an employer and the mandate for individuals to get coverage violates the right to due process of law.

A federal judge in Michigan upheld the constitutionality of the health-care overhaul in October, rejecting an argument by a self-described Christian law center in the first court victory for the new law.

A separate action filed by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli is before a federal judge in Richmond. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson in Richmond, Virginia, has said the trial courts represent “one brief stop on the way to the Supreme Court.”

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Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and 62 other members of the U.S. House of Representatives filed a court brief backing a lawsuit by 20 states challenging the legality of the Obama administration s healthcare legislation. The filing by Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and...
Group of 63 Lawmakers Joins Suit to Derail Obamacare
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