Attorneys General Plan To File Amicus Briefs Supporting Reform Law
Democratic attorneys general from six statesÂ plan toÂ file amicus briefs in support of the federal government in the Michigan lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health reform law, Politico's "Ben Smith" reports.
The six AGs are from California, Connecticut, Iowa, New York, Oregon and Vermont (Smith, "Ben Smith," Politico, 1/20).
The suit -- filed by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Thomas More Law Center in March 2010 -- alleges that the individual mandate in the overhaul is unconstitutional.
On Oct. 7, U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh rejected a motion by the Thomas More Law Center to institute a preliminary injunction against the overhaul. Steeh in his ruling wrote that Congress had approved the law within its powers to regulate interstate commerce, a decision that the plaintiffs now are appealing (California Healthline, 10/8/10).
Earlier this month, the Department of Justice filed a brief requesting oral arguments in the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to the appeal (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 1/14).
Update on the Virginia Lawsuit
Meanwhile, the Obama administration and Virginia have filed formal notices that they will appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court in Richmond, Va., a federal judge's decision to strike down the individual mandate in the reform law (Denniston, "SCOTUSblog," 1/19).
U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson in December 2010 agreed with plaintiffs in a Virginia lawsuit that the individual mandate exceeds Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. However, Hudson's ruling -- which marks the first time that a judge has struck down a central provision in the law -- did not invalidate the law or block the overhaul's implementation (California Healthline, 12/15/10).
The administration will argue that Hudson was wrong to rule that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Virginia will argue that Hudson should have struck down the entire overhaul ("SCOTUSblog," 1/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.