First appeal filed in constitutional challenge to Obamacare

The Thomas More Society is challenging the law's mandate requiring all citizens to purchase health care coverage.
Thu Dec 16, 2010 - 1:24 pm EST

ANN ARBOR, Michigan, December 16, 2010 ( – The first of the dozens of lawsuits against the Obama administration’s health care reform law is headed to the appeals courts.

Wednesday afternoon, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national, public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, filed its opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

Alongside co-counsel David Yerushalmi, TMLC is challenging the law’s mandate requiring all citizens to purchase health care coverage or face a penalty.

The lawyers’ brief asked the court to reverse a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge George Caram Steeh, the first federal judge to rule on the merits of the health law. Steeh ruled that the insurance mandate was allowed under the Commerce Clause, which he claimed granted Congress power to regulate not only economic activity, but economic decisions.

TMLC lawyers called the decision unprecedented, and contend that forcing taxpayers to purchase insurance remains an “unheard of extension of federal power.”

“The lower court,” they said, “has created a new kind of Commerce Clause” that “effectively grants the federal government state police power, thereby rendering any notion of the constitutionally mandated federalism dead letter law.”

“No matter how convinced President Obama—or even the American public in general, which it is not—may be that the new healthcare law is in the public interest, the president’s political objectives can only be accomplished in accord with the Constitution,” commented Robert Muise, Senior Trial Counsel for TMLC who is handling the case. “We are a Nation of laws, not a Nation of men.”

  health care, obama, obamacare

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