Once Obamacare was passed, there was a host of legal challenges filed. Most of them centered around the insurance mandate and whether or not it was constitutional for the federal government to force citizens to purchase a product.
One of the lawsuits launched against Obamacare involved a businessman named Matt Sissel. The Pacific Legal Foundation took on Sissel’s case. When the US Supreme Court agreed to hear three of the legal challenges, Pacific Legal Foundation decided to put a hold on Sissel’s lawsuit to see what the Supreme Court would rule.
From the reactions and comments of the Supreme Court Justices during the arguments of both sides, many people believed that the high court would overturn the mandate and possibly all of Obamacare. On June 28, 2012 the United States Supreme Court stunned the nation by upholding the entire Obamacare package. Chief Justice John Roberts broke before the four – four tie by ruling that the penalty part of the insurance mandate was a tax.
Once Roberts ruled the penalty for not complying with the insurance mandate was a tax to be enforced by the IRS, most other legal challenges to Obamacare fell by the wayside. However, because Roberts ruled the penalty of tax it opened up a new legal challenge to the constitutionality of Obamacare that Pacific Legal Foundation plan to use on behalf of Matt Sissel.
According to the Article 1, Section 7, of the United States Constitution any legislation to create a tax to be collected by the federal government must originate in the House of Representatives. This is known as the Origination Clause. PLF claims that the original bill that was used to create Obamacare originated in the Senate and not the House, thus making Obamacare illegal. Based on this information they are now moving forward with the case in the court system.
Judge Beryl Howell of the US District Court for the District of Columbia recently ruled that PLF’s argument based upon the Origination Clause can proceed forward in the court. PLF Principal Attorney Paul J. Beard commented saying:
“Our commitment is strengthened, and our fight goes on.”
“With Obamacare, the legislative process was backwards— and that makes it unconstitutional. If it’s a tax, as a Supreme Court called it, then it started in the wrong house.”
“When we focus on the Origination Clause, we’re not talking about dry formalities and this isn’t an academic issue. The Founders understood that the power to tax, if misused, involves the power to destroy, as Chief Justice John Marshall put it. Therefore, they viewed the Origination Clause as a safeguard for liberty. They insisted that the power to initiate new taxes should be left with the lawmakers who are most directly accountable to voters— members of the House, who are elected every two years by local districts.”
Matt Sissel says he is in the legal fight for the long haul. As a small business owner in Iowa City, Sissel said:
“I am in this lawsuit to defend liberty and the Constitution. That purpose and that promise continue today. My lawsuit is more important than ever, and we’ll move ahead with it, all the way up the judicial system, if necessary.”
“Quitting is never an option. In the military we learned you don’t stop halfway up the hill. The same goes with our courtroom challenge to Obamacare. I’m grateful to PLF for sharing my determination to move forward.”
This challenge may be the last hope of fighting off Obamacare and the huge negative impact it is having on our nation, economy, and healthcare industry. This battle may be long and expensive but Sissel and the PFL are determined to see it through to the end. We all need to get behind them and support them in any way possible if there is any hope left to stop the ugly beast known as Obamacare from devouring us all.