In its latest move against this year’s federal health care law, Pat Robertson’s Christian-right American Center for Law and Justice filed a brief in Florida on behalf of 63 members of Congress Friday, challenging the provision of the law requiring Americans to buy health insurance. Among the parties to the suit are Colorado Republicans Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn.
“It’s our hope that the legal challenges – coupled with a growing sentiment in Congress to derail the health care law – will ensure that ObamaCare is never implemented,” Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel said in a release.
The brief expresses the sentiment in legalese:
“Put simply, Congress cannot pass any law that seems to most efficiently address a national problem. Every federal law must derive from one of the grants of authority found in the Constitution,” the brief said. “This unprecedented expansion of federal power reflected in the government’s understanding of the commerce power is wrong, and that expansion of power threatens individual liberty.”
The ACLJ has filed a separate suit of its own against the law and it backed Virginia’s legal challenge to the law.
Founded in 1990, the ACLJ is Robertson’s answer to the American Civil Liberties Union. “Someone has got to stop the ACLU in court,” Robertson said in 1995. “And that’s exactly what we are going to do at the American Center for Law and Justice. Our attorneys are defending Christians in courtrooms all across America.”
The list of lawmakers who signed onto the lawsuit includes unabashed conservative Christians such as Lamborn and Minnesota’s Michele Bachmann:
Paul Broun, Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Eric Cantor, Jason Chaffetz, Mike Coffman, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Geoff Davis, Jeff Flake, John Fleming, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Scott Garrett, Louie Gohmert, Tom Graves, Ralph Hall, Greg Harper, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Lynn Jenkins, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Steve King, John Kline, Doug Lamborn, Robert Latta, Cynthia Lummis, Dan Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Garry Miller, Jeff Miller, Jerry Moran, Randy Neugebauer, Pete Olson, Ron Paul, Mike Pence, Joe Pitts, Bill Posey, Tom Price, George Radonovich, Mike Rogers (AL), Steve Scalise, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Adrian Smith, Lamar Smith, Todd Tiahrt, Zach Wamp, Lynn Westmoreland, and Joe Wilson.
Read the full brief here.
In addition to members of Congress, the authors of the brief say they are also acting on behalf of the “70,000 Americans” who belong to something called the Constitutional Committee to Challenge the President and Congress on Health Care. That committee seems to have very little or no presence online.
In analyzing the parties to the suit in Florida, including Robertson’s group, ThinkProgress draws attention to the revealing difference in kind of the parties on either side of the case.
While health advocacy groups, disease-specific organizations, and health care providers are standing on the side of reform, the anti-reform column is dominated by politicians and at least two potential GOP presidential contenders (Pawlenty and Thune). In fact, supporters of the multi-state challenge were unable to attract a single health care organization to join in their effort…
Hearings in the case are scheduled to begin in mid-December.
Hat tip to Andy Birkey at TMI.