Richmond, VA – Mat Staver will present oral argument at the federal court of appeals on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 9:30 am ET, challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “ObamaCare.” The case, Liberty University v. Geithner, will be heard at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit at 1000 East Main Street, Richmond, Virginia. Liberty Counsel represents Liberty University and two private individuals. On the same day, the court of appeals will also hear the case of Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius. The cases will be argued seriatim by each respective counsel.
The United States claims that healthcare is unique in that you cannot opt out of it, that certain reforms are necessary, and that to make the reforms work, everyone must be forced to participate by purchasing a certain kind of health insurance or paying a penalty. The case is one of first impression. No Supreme Court case has ever allowed the federal government to force people into the stream of commerce, and no Supreme Court case has ever permitted the federal government to force people to buy a government-defined product. If the government has the ability to force unwilling participants to buy health insurance, then there is no limit on the government’s power.
Virginia’s case challenges the individual mandate, while Liberty Counsel’s case challenges the individual and employer mandates. Like Virginia’s case, Liberty Counsel’s case argues that Congress lacks authority under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Taxing and Spending Clause. Liberty Counsel also raises other constitutional objections, including the First Amendment Free Exercise of Religion, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment Establishment Clause, and the Fifth Amendment Equal Protection Clause.
Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “It is the hope of many Americans that this lawsuit is a fast track to the ultimate demise of this overreaching health insurance law. This law represents an astonishing extension of the federal government into the personal and business decisions of Americans. If ObamaCare should be upheld by the courts, then there are no limits on what Congress can do. I think it is clear that Congress far exceeded its authority under the Constitution.”
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