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 as a 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.
Last week, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit set 9:30am Thursday, May 8, 2014 as the time and date to start hearing oral arguments. Timothy Sandefur, Principle Attorney for PLF will be presenting the arguments on behalf of Matt Sissel. This is the first challenge of this type to reach this high of a court. Not only will Sandefur be arguing that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but so are all of the other 20 tax increases that have been imposed by Obamacare.
Dr. Steven F. Hotze, President of Citizens Against Obamacare and Conservative Republicans of Texas also filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of Obamacare similar to the case filed by the PLF. According to a message sent out by Hotze:
“I filed a federal lawsuit, Hotze v. Sebelius, on May 7, 2013 to overturn ObamaCare because it:
- Violates the Origination Clause, Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution; (It started in the wrong house of Congress)
- Violates the Taking Clause of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; (It forces an individual or employer to purchase a good or service from a private business)”
“Our first victory was the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius just last week…. “
“Federal District Judge, Nancy Atlas (a Clinton appointee), resolved all of the procedural issues in my favor, specifically that I had legal standing against ObamaCare; yet then ruled that ObamaCare was constitutional.”
“Immediately, my attorney, Andrew Schlafly (son of conservative leader, Phyllis Schlafly), appealed the decision to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans…”
“ The Fifth Circuit will hear and decide, de novo (a new trial), my two constitutional challenges to ObamaCare in Hotze v. Sebelius, Docket No. 14-20039 (5th Cir.)”.
“Senator John Cornyn is drafting an amicus brief in support of my lawsuit that he and Congressman Pete Sessions, Chairman of the House Rules Committee, will circulate among Republican congressmen and senators for endorsing signatures. Another amicus brief will be circulated among Republican attorney generals from across the country.”
“This case will be the first time that the conservative Fifth Circuit has ruled on the constitutionality of ObamaCare.”
“The Court will be able to invalidate all of ObamaCare on any basis or it may invalidate essential parts of ObamaCare in order to render it inoperative as a practical matter. For example, the Fifth Circuit could easily declare the individual and employer mandates to be voluntary rather than enforceable by mandatory penalties. If this were to be the Fifth Circuit’s decision, then ObamaCare will collapse.”
It’s likely that one or both of these cases will end up at the US Supreme Court. Both of these organizations need our prayers and support for their legal efforts to overturn Obamacare.