Steven F. Hotze, M.D., welcomes the filing of an amicus brief by 20 States in support of his challenge to the constitutionality of ObamaCare under the Origination Clause in Hotze v. Sebelius, No. 14-20039. The 20 States have filed their brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, to reinforce Dr. Hotze’s claim that the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, commonly known as ObamaCare) violates the Origination Clause, Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.
The amicus brief by Texas against ObamaCare was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia. Their amicus brief urges the federal appellate court to reject the holding by the district court under the Origination Clause, a district court ruling that the States emphasize would render “meaningless” this essential safeguard in the Constitution against new revenue-raising bills.
Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution requires that all revenue-raising bills originate in the House of Representatives, because that chamber is closest and most accountable to the people. This essential provision of the Constitution ensures maximum political accountability for new revenue-raising measures by Congress. If members of the House of Representatives do not first sponsor and approve a revenue-raising bill, then the Senate is without power to impose the tax on the American people.
Yet that is what ObamaCare did in imposing new taxes on the American people. It originated as Harry Reid’s Senate bill rather than as legislation properly passed first by the House of Representatives. As the 20 States point out in their amicus brief, “The Origination Clause requires that tax bills originate in the House of Representatives and thus ensures that federal tax decisions will be made in the first instance by the legislators who are closest to the people.”
The States observe in their amicus brief, “Without the assurance of the Origination Clause, many of the States at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 would not have agreed to cede power to (and share sovereignty with) the new federal government. And the amici States have continuing interests in ensuring that the Origination Clause is faithfully and vigorously enforced.”
Two of the States are new in opposing ObamaCare in the courts, as they did not participate in the prior challenge which reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the consolidated litigation known as “NFIB”. We are particularly gratified by how these new States have weighed in to this litigation to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional. These two new States are Montana and West Virginia.
We applaud all 20 States for standing up with us against the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare.