States File Amicus Brief Supporting Challenge to Federal Health Care Law
July 19, 2011, 10:30am
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Multistate coalition supports plaintiffs in Kinder v. Geithner, argues that individual mandate is unconstitutional
ST. LOUIS, MO -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and officials from 20 other states filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit that challenges the constitutionality of the federal health care law. The States’ amicus brief in Kinder v. Geithner 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 Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and four other plaintiffs. In March 2010, the states filed their own legal challenge to the so-called Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Four months later, in July, Kinder v. Geithner was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Although the States’ challenge prompted a federal judge in Florida to declare the federal health care law unconstitutional, the district court judge in Missouri dismissed the lawsuit filed by Lt. Gov. Kinder. As a result, the plaintiffs appealed their case to the federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. The States’ brief supports the plaintiffs’ appeal.
The Kinder v. Geithner suit names U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as defendants. The states that joined Texas in the amicus brief are: Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.