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Texas joins 13 Other States Challenging Federal Health Care law

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May 24, 2011, 8:11pm
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14-state coalition supports plaintiffs in Seven-Sky v. Holder; argues that individual mandate is unconstitutional

AUSTIN -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and officials from 13 other states filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that challenges the constitutionality of the federal health care law. The states’ amicus brief in Seven-Sky v. Holder explains that the law’s individual mandate -- which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance as a condition of lawful residence in the United States -- violates the Constitution.

“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is an extraordinary law that rests on unprecedented assertions of federal authority, pushing even the most expansive conception of the federal government’s constitutional powers past the breaking point, the brief states. “The federal government embraces a sweeping view of the Commerce Clause...that would imperil individual liberty, render Congress’s other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the States.”

The states amicus brief supports a legal challenge filed by Susan Seven-Sky and four other plaintiffs. In March 2010, the states filed their own legal challenge to the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Three months later, in June, Seven-Sky v. Holder was filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Although the states’ challenge prompted a federal judge in Florida to declare the federal health care law unconstitutional, the district court ruled against the Seven-Sky plaintiffs. As a result, they appealed their case to the federal court of appeals -- and the states’ brief yesterday supports the Seven-Sky plaintiffs’ appeal.

The states that joined Texas in the amicus brief are: Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.

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