Dozens of Members of Congress File Legal Brief Backing ObamaCare Lawsuit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 19, 2010   |   2:47PM   |   Washington, DC

Dozens of members of Congress and more than 70,000 Americans are represented in a new legal brief filed by a pro-life legal group supporting the lawsuit in Florida against ObamaCare.

The American Center for Law and Justice today filed an amicus brief with a federal court in Florida on behalf of 63 members of Congress in support of Florida’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law.

The Florida brief is the ACLJ’s latest effort, which includes backing Virginia’s legal challenge and a lawsuit of its own, contending the individual mandate forcing Americans to purchase health insurance violates the Constitution.

“The health care law is not only the wrong prescription for the nation, it’s a constitutionally flawed measure that we believe ultimately will be rejected by the courts and the American people,” said Jay Sekulow, the legal group’s chief counsel.

“The requirement forcing Americans to purchase health insurance under penalty of law represents an unprecedented expansion of federal power which threatens individual liberty,” he told

Sekulow says the lawsuit and potential action in Congress represent a combined effort to combat ObamaCare, which allows abortion funding.

“It’s our hope that the legal challenges – coupled with a growing sentiment in Congress to derail the health care law – will ensure that ObamaCare is never implemented,” he said. “As evidenced by the latest elections, most Americans want sensible, affordable health care reform – not government-run ObamaCare that violates the Constitution.”

The ACLJ filed its amicus brief in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division.

In October, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson issued a written ruling saying the court needs to issue a decision on the question of whether or not it is a violation of the Constitution to force Americans to purchase health care insurance.

He will hold a hearing on December 16 on the question, though the ultimate decision will ultimately wind up before the Supreme Court.

The judge ruled that parts of the lawsuit the 20 states filed can go to trial and his decision came after a Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit. The judge in the Virginia case also allowed that lawsuit to move ahead.

The key component of the decision Vinson issued concerns the individual mandate, and he appears sympathetic to those who oppose it, thus opposing the entire law.

“At this stage in the litigation, this is not even a close call…But, in this case we are dealing with something very different. The individual mandate applies across the board. People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it,” he wrote. “Those who fall under the individual mandate either comply with it, or they are penalized. It is not based on an activity that they make the choice to undertake.”

“Of course, to say that something is “novel” and “unprecedented” does not necessarily mean that it is “unconstitutional” and “improper.” There may be a first time for anything. But, at this stage of the case, the plaintiffs have most definitely stated a plausible claim with respect to this cause of action,” he said.

The ACLJ represents 63 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Dr. Paul Broun and including incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives include:  Paul Broun, Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Eric Cantor, Jason Chaffetz, Mike Coffman, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Geoff Davis, Jeff Flake, John Fleming, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Louie Gohmert, Tom Graves, Ralph Hall, Greg Harper, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Lynn Jenkins, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, Cynthia Lummis, Dan Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Garry Miller, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Bill Posey, Tom Price, George Radonovich, Mike Rogers (AL), Steve Scalise, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Adrian Smith, Lamar Smith, Todd Tiahrt, Zach Wamp, Lynn Westmoreland, and Joe Wilson.