Health Care Reform: Constitutional Accountability Center Statement On Eve of Argument In 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Washington, DC – In anticipation of tomorrow’s hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, reviewing U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson’s decision striking down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Constitutional Accountability Center released the following statement:

CAC Chief Counsel Elizabeth Wydra said, “It is essential to note that over 150 state legislators from 26 states have filed a ‘friend of the court’ brief supporting the constitutionality of the Act and arguing that it is good policy for their states and constituents. While plaintiffs use Tea-Party-friendly ‘states’ rights’ rhetoric, and claim to represent the interests of the states in general, many states and state leaders strongly disagree with the challengers’ legal position and flawed, historically-inaccurate view of federalism. The Massachusetts Attorney General, in citing former Gov. Mitt Romney’s legislation as a positive example, is one of them,” Wydra said.

David Gans, Director of CAC’s Human Rights, Civil Rights, and Citizenship Program said, “Our Constitution establishes a national government of enumerated but broad powers, that allow Congress to fix the health care crisis. Within our federalist system, the states play a vital role as ‘laboratories of democracy,’ but the Constitution clearly grants Congress the power to pass legislation like the Affordable Care Act to regulate an industry that accounts for one-sixth of our nation’s economy.”



Brief of 154 state legislators defending the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on originalist and federalism grounds:

The States, Health Care Reform, and the Constitution:

Doug Kendall, “Health Care Reform: Preserving Judicial Independence in a Partisan Age,”

Elizabeth Wydra, “Don’t Tread on Me? Not All States Think Health Care Reform Threatens States’ Rights,”

Strange Brew: The Tea Party’s Errant Constitutional Attacks on Health Care Reform:


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