Schuette Renews Challenge to Obamacare
January 5, 2011
LANSING - Michigan
Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the renewal of Michigan's
constitutional challenge to the federal healthcare law commonly known as "Obamacare."
Schuette will file paperwork in the
U.S. District Court
in Florida adding his name as a representative of the People of Michigan in the
case. Schuette's lawsuit questions the authority of the federal government
under the Commerce Clause to force citizens to purchase health insurance and
challenges the vast expansion of the Medicaid program in violation of state
sovereignty under the 10th Amendment.
first time in history the federal government is forcing us to buy a product
under the threat of a penalty, in violation of the U.S. Constitution," said
Schuette. "I will fight Obamacare tooth-and-nail to protect our citizens from
this constitutional overreach."
Michigan is joined by twenty states and the National Federation
of Independent Business (NFIB) in the healthcare lawsuit filed in the United
States Northern District Court of Florida. On December 16, 2010, District Court
Judge Roger Vinson heard oral arguments for the case. A written ruling is
expected in the coming weeks.
State Director Charles Owens praised Schuette's decision to continue the legal
challenge. "We are thankful that Attorney General Bill Schuette has the courage
to stand up to this federal overreach and we are proud to join him and the other
state Attorneys General in continuing this lawsuit," said Owens. "We are
disappointed that the current administration finds the U. S. Constitution to be
an inconvenience. Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned
that the unconstitutional mandates, countless paperwork requirements, rules and
taxes in the new healthcare law will seriously impair their ability to create
jobs at a time when our country so desperately needs them."
On October 14, 2010,
Judge Vinson denied the Obama Administration's efforts to dismiss
the lawsuit, allowing the states' two primary claims to proceed: one count
challenging the Constitutionality of the individual mandate, and a second count
challenging the commandeering of state resources to expand the Medicaid program
in violation of Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth and Tenth
Michigan's challenge to the healthcare law is separate from the
lawsuit filed by Virginia, which has already earned a favorable ruling from the
court. Like Michigan's case, the Virginia case questions the federal
government's authority to force Americans to purchase a product as the price of
On December 13, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson
issued a ruling in favor of Virginia's challenge to federal health care
legislation. Judge Hudson struck down the individual mandate, noting in his
the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision "exceeds the
constitutional boundaries of congressional power" (p. 38). Judge Hudson also
rejected the Obama administration's arguments regarding congressional authority
under the Commerce Clause.