While most of us were distracted by the royal wedding and the death of Obama, attorneys for 26 states urged a United States appeals court on May 4, 2011, to strike down Obamacare. They argued that Obamacare far exceeds the powers of the federal government. Other court challenges are already underway.
Challenges to Obama's health care law began on May 10, 2011, as lawyers from more than fifty percent of the states urge the courts to strike down the law as unconstitutional. The high stakes in the debate plus the partisan divide are shown in the clash in the courtroom by the top appellate lawyers from the administrations of both Bush and Obama. The main cause for the challenges is the government's requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty or fee.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit met on May 10, 2011, to determine if a lower court was in the right to strike down the requirement to have health insurance. The three judges - selected by a computer - happen to all be Democratic appointees; two were appointed by Obama and one was appointed by Bill Clinton. I expect that the Democrat-appointed judges will follow the party line, which will send the case to the Supreme Court.
A 69-page motion filed on May 4, 2011, urged the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to uphold U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's ruling that the health care overhaul's main requirement is unconstitutional. Judge Vinson ruled that Congress does not have the power to require Americans to buy health insurance. The motion argued that the law would set a precedent that "would imperil individual liberty, render Congress's other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states." The states argued that the law is an "indefensible" as well as an "unprecedented move" by Congress. According to the motion filed, the law "imposes a direct mandate upon individuals to obtain health insurance, marking by all accounts the first time in our nation's history that Congress has required individuals to enter into commerce as a condition of living in the United States."
Three randomly selected judges from the 11th Circuit panel will consider oral arguments in this case in June. Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general under President George W. Bush, will lead the states' challenge.
Since three federal judges have ruled Obamacare to be constitutional while Judge Vinson and Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia have ruled it unconstitutional, the problem will most likely end up in the Supreme Court. We can only guess how the Supreme Court will rule on the matter as Judge Vinson suggested that the Court may end up in a split decision.
We should all be grateful to the 26 states that were taking care of business while our interest was upon the many explanations as to what really happened in the commando raid to get Osama bin Laden. In order to safeguard our freedoms, we need to watch both "hands" of the Obama Administration in order to avoid deception.