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In Historic Health Care Reform Lawsuit, State Legislators From 27 States Defend Constitutionality Of New Federal Law
CONSTITUTIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY CENTER
For Immediate Release: November 17, 2010
Contact: Doug Pennington, Press Secretary
(202) 296-6889 x303
CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra: "The State Legislators believe that the new health care reform law is consistent with the principles of federalism reflected in our Constitution, and is in the best interests of the people they were elected to represent.”
Washington, DC – In response to a constitutional challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act led by 20 state Attorneys General and Governors, a bipartisan group of 75 State Legislators from 27 states will file a “friend of the court” brief this week in defense of the constitutionality of the new health care reform law. These Legislators include representatives from 12 states who stand in opposition to the challenge to the law brought by their respective state’s Attorney General or Governor. In October, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson dismissed four of six counts in the original complaint, but allowed two remaining counts to be pursued, and ordered that parties who wished to file briefs as “friends of the Court” ask for leave to do so. Judge Vinson granted that leave to the State Legislators on Friday, November 12.
Read the State Legislators’ Motion for Leave to File as Amicus Curiae in Florida v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services here:
Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel of Constitutional Accountability Center and Counsel of Record on the Motion, said, "The State Legislators believe that the new health care reform law is consistent with the principles of federalism reflected in our Constitution, and is in the best interests of the people they were elected to represent. They strongly disagree with the state Attorneys General and Governors, many from their own states, who are seeking a judicial ‘do-over’ by asking a judge to write a health care law that is more to their liking – a matter for Congress and the political process, not the courts,” Wydra said.
CAC President Doug Kendall said, “The Florida Court is being asked to strike down health care reform in the name of federalism. In this brief, legislators from 27 states will explain to the Court why health care reform helps their states and what federalism is all about.”
The Legislators who have been given leave to file their amicus brief to defend the constitutionality of the health care reform law are state Representatives and Senators from across America, including: Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Furthermore, Legislators from 12 additional states – Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington – stand in opposition to their own state’s Attorney General or Governor who is trying to overturn health care reform in the court.
In their “friend of the court” brief, the State Legislators will support the federal government’s argument that the Act is constitutional and that summary judgment should therefore be granted in its favor. The State Legislators will argue that the Affordable Care Act respects the Federal-State partnership on health care while preserving constitutional federalism, and that the constitutional challenge to the Act’s Medicaid expansion is groundless and should be dismissed.
The States, Health Care Reform, and the Constitution: http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/issue-brief/states-health-care-reform-and-constitution-0
Strange Brew: The Tea Party’s Errant Constitutional Attacks on Health Care Reform:http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/1829
Redefining Federalism: Listening to the States in Shaping "Our Federalism": http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/book/redefining-federalism-listening-states-shaping-our-federalism
Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution\'s text and history.