Is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACT”) Constitutional?
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit said, yes, when it upheld the “individual mandate” provision of the Act in a ruling on June 29, 2011. The “individual mandate” provision contained in the Act requires individuals to purchase at least minimum health care insurance coverage.
Two of the three members of the 6th Circuit panel agreed, for different reasons, that the government had made a plausible case that the individual mandate is constitutional because an individual’s decision not to obtain health coverage has economic consequences. The judges were Boyce Martin and Jeffrey Sutton. Sutton’s opinion has been viewed as especially important because he is a respected conservative judge who, as appellate lawyer, often argued in favor of state sovereignty. The dissenting judge in the 6th Circuit case was Ohio U.S. District Court Judge James Graham, sitting by designation.” [Via N.J. Law Journal]
The loyal opposition
The Thomas Moore Law Center announced today it filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Review is necessary to establish a meaningful limitation on congressional power under the Commerce Clause,” the petition argues. “If the Act is understood to fall within Congress’s Commerce Clause authority, the federal government will have absolute and unfettered power to create complex regulatory schemes to fix every perceived problem imaginable and to do so by ordering private citizens to engage in affirmative acts, under penalty of law.”
Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, 720 F. Supp. 2d 882 – Dist. Court, ED Michigan 2010
Thomas Moore Law Center v. Obama, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit 2011
Open Congress-Website containing time-line of Act from introduction to passage, with House and Senate votes; and download of full Act