Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the first day of oral argument in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, which will determine if the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (better known as “ObamaCare”) is constitutional. The argument will begin by addressing whether the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) applies to the case and, if so, whether AIA requires the parties to wait until 2014 or beyond before the merits of ObamaCare can be addressed.
The first issue to be argued today arises from the case of Liberty University v. Geithner, in which Liberty Counsel represents Liberty University and two private individuals. Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, argued Liberty University at the district court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court issued a 2-1 decision, finding that the AIA applies and thus prevents a ruling on the merits until later, when individuals or employers are forced to pay the penalty for failure to obtain or provide health insurance.
Liberty Counsel filed the first private lawsuit against ObamaCare on the same day it was signed into law. This is the only pending case at the Supreme Court that challenges both the individual and the employer mandates. Liberty Counsel filed two amicus briefs with the Supreme Court, addressing both the Anti-Injunction Act and the Commerce Clause.
Audio of the argument will be made available two hours after the end of each day’s proceedings. This link will be updated by the Supreme Court to contain the audio from various cases, and the Court also plans to release the transcripts shortly after the close of the session.
Staver said: “The Anti-Injunction Act does not apply to ObamaCare because a mandate is a penalty, not a tax; it does not apply to states; and it is not jurisdictional. Moreover, the AIA does not apply to the Medicaid aspect of ObamaCare. To uphold ObamaCare would require a rewrite of the Constitution. The entire law must be struck down.”