Wednesday April 7, 2010

New States Join Courtroom Revolt Against ObamaCare

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 7, 2010 ( – Five more U.S. states have now joined the attorneys general of a dozen other states in a lawsuit aimed at toppling the federal government’s new health care law.

The states assert that portions of the health care legislation signed into law by President Obama on March 23 amounts to constitutional overreach that infringes on the right of states and individuals to manage their own affairs.

“We welcome the partnership of Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona as we continue fighting to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens and the sovereignty of our states,” said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in a statement.

“On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty, and encroachment on our freedom,” McCollum continued.

The attorneys general of Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington had already banded together with Florida to file a lawsuit against the federal government with the US District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

The lawsuit contends that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) infringes upon the constitutional rights of the residents of states by forcing all citizens and legal residents to carry qualified health insurance or pay a financial penalty.

The states contend that the insurance mandate exceeds the limited scope of the powers granted to the federal government under Article I of the US Constitution. Furthermore, they assert that the tax penalty for not carrying insurance violates the prohibition against the direct taxation of individuals outlined in Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.

The suit also contends that the PPACA infringes on the sovereignty of the states guaranteed under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution by forcing the states to abide by new operating rules and mandating that they spend billions of dollars to support the new health care system, when they already face severe budget crises.

Virginia has also filed its own separate lawsuit against the federal government, reiterating many of the concerns of its fellow states. Virginia has already passed a state law that expressly forbids the government from mandating that citizens carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

The addition of the five new states brings the total number of states involved in the Florida-led lawsuit against the federal government over ObamaCare to nineteen, including Virginia.

A hearing for scheduling the Florida-led suit is set to take place April 14, 2010 at 9 a.m. central time at the Federal Courthouse in Pensacola, Florida.

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