Amicus curiae brief challenging constitutionality of Obamacare filed by watchdog

By Jim Kouri via The Examiner

Obamacare is taking the nation on a forced march to a medical nightmare, say many experts.

Obamacare is  taking the nation on a forced march to a medical nightmare, say many experts.

A top “Inside the Beltway” group that investigates, exposes  and prosecutes government corruption filed an amicus curiae brief on February 13,  2012, with the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of  the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare (United  States Department of Health and Human Services, et al., State of Florida, et  al.).

The Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for the Obamacare case on March 26, 27 and 28,  2012.

With its amicus curiae brief the non-partisan Judicial Watch maintains that the “individual mandate” provision of Obamacare, which requires every American  citizen to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty, is unconstitutional,  whether considered under Congress’ commerce power or taxing power:

Petitioners are trying to defend a provision in an act passed by Congress  that exceeds its enumerated powers. Though Congress enacted this provision under  the Commerce Clause, Congress’ power under the  clause is not broad enough to compel Americans to engage in commerce by  purchasing a particular product.

Though Petitioners try to rescue the provision by arguing that it is valid  under Congress’ taxing power even if it is invalid under Congress’ commerce  power, a provision of an act that is not a tax may not be construed as a tax  merely to save it from being declared unconstitutional.

The watchdog group further argues that if the Supreme Court affirms  the constitutionality of the so-called individual mandate, “it must be willing to hold that  Congress’ powers under the Commerce clause are plenary and unlimited, for there  remains no principled way to limit Congress’ power if it is stretched as far as  Petitioners (the Obama administration) ask.”

Demonstrating the importance of the legal battle over Obamacare, the  Supreme Court will hear five-and-a-half hours of oral argument, a rare allotment  of time in the court’s modern era.  The Supreme Court’s scrutiny will focus  on the constitutionality of the Obamacare individual mandate. The court will  also consider whether other components of Obamacare could take effect even if  the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional, among other issues.

In a December 14, 2010, editorial published in The Washington Post Attorney General Eric  Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that the  individual mandate is essential to Obamacare: “Without an individual  responsibility provision (or mandate), controlling costs and ending  discrimination against people with preexisting conditions doesn’t work.”

“The President’s socialist healthcare overhaul is an affront to the U.S.  Constitution’s provisions for limited government,” said Judicial Watch President  Tom Fitton. “The time has come for the U.S. Supreme Court to put an end to  Obamacare once and for all.”

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