Twenty-six states, including Georgia, and other plaintiffs challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Act) filed briefs today with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in response to the Obama Administration’s brief filed last month.
On January 31, 2011, Federal District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida struck down as unconstitutional the individual mandate requirement. He further ruled that because so much of the Act relied upon the individual mandate, the entire law must be invalidated. In a later ruling, he stayed the effect of his ruling until appellate review could take place.
In the appellate brief filed today, Georgia and the other plaintiffs argue that the Constitution establishes a federal government with limited and enumerated powers to protect individual liberty; forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is not a regulation of interstate commerce; forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is neither necessary nor proper for carrying into execution a regulation of interstate commerce; forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is not a permissible means of regulating those uninsured individuals who will fail to pay for healthcare they receive; and forcing individuals to purchase health insurance exceeds Congress’ power to tax.
“We filed a strong brief today in the 11th Circuit court of Appeals, which clearly illustrates the unconstitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” said Attorney General Sam Olens. “In addition to granting Congress unprecedented power beyond what is enumerated by the Constitution, the healthcare law passes on massive costs and additional requirements to the states.
An oral argument before the 11th Circuit is scheduled for June 8, 2011. The brief is attached.