WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the U.S. Supreme Court begins considering written legal arguments today on President Obama's health-care law, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) has signed onto a separate amicus brief - a legal opinion from an individual or a group with relevant information to provide to the court -- challenging the health-care law's constitutionality.
The "friend of the court" brief, signed by more than a hundred members of Congress and will be filed later today with the Supreme Court, is in support of a lawsuit filed by 26 states to invalidate the health-care law. Under the new law, all Americans with taxable income must have minimal health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. Luetkemeyer opposed the initial legislation passed in 2010 and, since then, has worked to defund, block implementation, and ultimately repeal the health-care law.
The brief specifically argues that the U.S. Constitution does not empower Congress to require Americans to purchase and maintain health insurance from a private company for the rest of their lives or pay an annual penalty, and that because the individual mandate applies to individuals regardless of whether they are presently engaged in any specific commercial or economic activity, it exceeds the powers of the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. The brief also argues that the entire health-care law, with its 450 sections, should be ruled invalid, since the individual mandate cannot be severed from the law and contains no severability clause. The brief filed today deals with the severability issue and a second brief dealing with the individual mandate will be filed next month.
"More than 70 percent of Missourians voted down this unconstitutional mandate at the polls in August 2010, so I am extremely pleased that the Supreme Court will have an opportunity to review our brief and consider our arguments against the unconstitutional law that was forced upon hard-working Americans. I eagerly look forward to the arguments, and it is my hope that our nation's highest court sides with the majority of the American people by striking down this law," Luetkemeyer said. "While all American families deserve access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, this unconstitutional law instead raises premiums, suffocates economic growth and jobs, makes damaging cuts to Medicare, paves the way for federally funded abortions, and takes the unprecedented step of penalizing Americans who refuse to purchase a product forced upon them by the government."
The U.S. Justice Department today is filing its first brief on the merits of the case, which is scheduled to be heard by the nation's highest court in March. Media reports indicate these first briefs will focus on the core question of whether it is constitutional to make almost every American buy health insurance.
Read this original document at: http://luetkemeyer.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=26§iontree=6,26&itemid=829