Rule of Law

Defending the Affordable Care Act With the Constitution: 154 State Legislators Take On 26 State Attorneys General

CAC President Doug Kendall: “Our clients strongly disagree with the state Attorneys General and Governors, some from their own states, about both the constitutionality of the ACA as well as the wisdom of the law, which they believe will strongly benefit their states.”

Washington, DC – The Constitution’s original meaning, as understood by George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and other Framers, supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That is the powerful message delivered by 154 state legislators from 26 states – including 15 states whose Governors or state Attorneys General are challenging the ACA – in a brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Filed by Constitutional Accountability Center on behalf of the legislators, the brief draws on compelling recent scholarship by preeminent scholars – including Yale Law School Professors Akhil Amar and Jack Balkin – as well as a treasure trove of documents collected by the University of Virginia as part of the George Washington Papers collection.

Read the state legislators’ brief here: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/briefs/us-department-health-human-services-v-florida-florida-v-hhs/11th-circuit-amici-brief

“The Affordable Care Act is not only a constitutional exercise of the federal government’s power, it is an example of cooperative federalism at its very best,” said CAC President Doug Kendall. “Our clients strongly disagree with the state Attorneys General and Governors, some from their own states, about both the constitutionality of the ACA as well as the wisdom of the law, which they believe will strongly benefit their states.”

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Resources:

Brief of 154 state legislators defending the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/briefs/us-department-health-human-services-v-florida-florida-v-hhs/11th-circuit-amici-brief

The Papers of George Washington: http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/ 

The States, Health Care Reform, and the Constitution:http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/issue-brief/states-health-care-reform-and-constitution-0

Strange Brew: The Tea Party’s Errant Constitutional Attacks on Health Care Reform: http://theusconstitution.org/text-history/1829

Redefining Federalism: Listening to the States in Shaping “Our Federalism”: http://theusconstitution.org/think-tank/book/redefining-federalism-listening-states-shaping-our-federalism

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

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