Rule of Law

Health Care Reform Challengers Tested At Fourth Circuit

    Washington, DC – After observing today’s health care reform arguments in the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel of Constitutional Accountability Center, released the following statement:

    “As demonstrated in today’s oral argument, the Affordable Care Act’s challengers have no answer to the Constitution’s text and history and long-established Supreme Court precedent dating to the founding era. Contrary to the claims of the Tea Party and their allies, the Constitution gives the federal government the power to enact a national solution to a national problem.

    Echoing Resolution Six from the Constitutional Convention — which sets forth the Framers’ direction that the federal government have powers to act where the states are separately incompetent — Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal explained that states are incapable of solving the health care crisis on their own.

    Anti-reform advocates failed to effectively address the common-sense point that Congress must be able to encourage individuals to obtain health insurance as part of a comprehensive effort to reform the national health care industry. As General Katyal said, ‘This case is really about a political dispute that is better addressed outside the courtroom.’

    This very point was made perfectly by Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, formerly the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit, who wrote in an earlier Commerce Clause case that ‘it cannot be that the mere expression of judicial derision for the efforts of the democratic branches is enough to discard them.’ There is no better rebuke to Judge Hudson’s opinion.”

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Resources:

Constitutional Accountability Center’s brief filed in Cuccinelli v. Sebelius: http://theusconstitution.org/cases/briefs/virginia-ex-rel-cuccinelli-v-sebelius/4th-circuit-amicus-brief-virginia-ex-rel

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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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