Liberty Counsel Files Two Amicus Briefs with Supreme Court on “ObamaCare”

February 13, 2012

Washington, DC – Liberty Counsel has two filed amicus briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court addressing both the Anti-Injunction Act and the Commerce Clause. Liberty Counsel represents Liberty University and two private individuals in the case of Liberty University v. Geithner. This case is being held at the Supreme Court pending the outcome in Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, which originated in Florida and includes 26 states in addition to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

At the federal court of appeals, the Department of Justice conceded that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) does not apply and the court should reach the merits of the case. The AIA requires that prior to filing suit on a tax dispute, the taxpayer must first pay the tax before filing suit. Liberty Counsel’s brief argues that the AIA does not apply because (1) the mandate assesses a “penalty,” not a tax, and (2) the AIA does not deprive the court of jurisdiction, especially when the government argues that it does not apply and the statutory intent does not prevent litigation.

The second brief filed by Liberty Counsel argues that the insurance mandate under ObamaCare exceeds Congress’s authority under the limited powers conferred by the Commerce Clause of Article 1, section 8. Congress does not have the authority to force essentially all law-abiding citizens to purchase a particular kind of health insurance against their will.

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, who argued Liberty University v. Geithner at the district court and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, said: “The blatant disregard for religious liberty evidenced by the recent directive that religious organizations and their insurance carriers provide contraceptives and abortifacients illustrates the constitutional problem with ObamaCare. Congress does not have the authority to force law-abiding citizens to buy health insurance. President Obama’s view of government is frightening, because he apparently thinks his abortion agenda trumps religious liberty. ObamaCare is a dangerous overreach of the federal government. If allowed to stand, the liberty of every American could be arbitrarily overridden by federal bureaucrats.”