Sunday, April 18, 2010


"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."
Thomas Jefferson

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on April ninth that five more states are joining the thirteen states suing the federal government alleging that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, (H.R. 3590) is unconstitutional. In addition Virginia filed a separate lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. This brings the current total of litigant states to nineteen. Although they are not named as plaintiffs, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona have joined the fight, sparking partisan battles to erupt in several states between governors and attorneys general. In some cases Republican governors are insisting that their state's Democratic attorneys general file, in others the exact opposite is occurring; Democratic governors are seeking to prevent filings by Republican attorneys general. Also unnamed as a plaintiff in the Florida lawsuit is Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. According to the Washington Examiner, Virginia filed a separate lawsuit because "we have a different standing," in that "federal law directly conflicts with our law," spokesman Brian Gottstein said

South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota had previously joined the lawsuit initiated by Florida and filed in United States District Court Northern District of Florida in Pensacola. According to the Associated Press the suit was filed just seven minutes after President Obama signed the health care reform bill into law on March 23rd.

Defendants named in the Florida suit are:
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, in her official
capacity as the Secretary of the United States
Department of Health and Human Services;
GEITHNER, in his official capacity as the
Secretary of the United States Department
of the Treasury; UNITED STATES
L. SOLIS, in her official capacity as Secretary
of the United States Department of Labor

The Virginia lawsuit names as a defendant only:
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, in her official
capacity as the Secretary of the United States
Department of Health and Human Services

Among the illegalities alleged in the lawsuits are:
The perversion of the constitutionally enumerated power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). The law will require all adults to purchase qualifying health insurance by 2014, stipulating fines and penalties for non-compliance. For the first time in American history a law will compel citizens to purchase a product. Even compulsory auto insurance laws are contingent upon the affected person's decision to own and operate a motor vehicle. Oddly enough, the law forbids the purchase of health care insurance across state lines.
(1)It (the law) violates the rights of individuals requiring them to purchase health insurance;
(2) the constitution does not empower Congress to require individuals to purchase health insurance;
(The specific powers of congress [the enumerated powers] are spelled out in Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-18 of the constitution).
(3) the provision requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fee constitutes an unlawful capitation or direct tax which is beyond the power of Congress to enact;
(Expressly forbiden to congress in Article I, Section 9, Clause 4).
(4) the federal law invades the sovereignty of the states by forcing the states to expand their Medicaid rolls without offering sufficient federal funding to cover the costs.
(See number 2 above).

See the links below for copies of the lawsuits and the articulated allegations.

The government contends that the health care reform law is constitutional, citing the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2), which states (that) "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in the Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
Citing the supremacy clause is a spurious and thin argument whose logical conclusions are that any bill passed by congress and signed by the president is constitutional and supersedes state law by the simple virtue of having been passed. Fortunately, it is not that simple. The acid-test here is whether or not the federal government has the authority to enact such legislation as enumerated in the constitution (Article I, Section 8, Entire). Powers not enumerated as belonging to the federal government (whether provided for in a state's constitution or not), if not expressly forbidden are retained by the states and the people. (Amendments IX and X).
States' rights versus an over-reaching federal government is the issue here.
Stay tuned,

See a copy of the 2,400+ page bill here:

See a copy of the Florida lawsuit here:

See a copy of the Virginia lawsuit here:

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