WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and 42 of his colleagues filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court Monday on behalf of the bipartisan, multi-state challenge to the Democrats’ health spending law.
“The Democrats’ 2,700 page health spending bill represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional expansion of the federal government into the daily lives of every American,” Sen. McConnell said. “Americans have rejected the law’s mandate that they must buy government-approved health insurance, and we hope the Supreme Court will do the same.”
The following are excerpts from the amicus brief:
“Put simply, Congress acted without constitutional authority in enacting the Individual Mandate of the PPACA. In so doing, it has damaged Congress’ institutional legitimacy and has triggered severe conflicts between state and federal governments that the Constitution was carefully designed to avert.”
“Because the Individual Mandate regulates a simple decision or choice not to purchase a particular product, it exceeds the proper scope of the Commerce Clause.”
“If Congress may punish a decision to refrain from engaging in a private activity (namely, the purchase of health insurance) because the consequences of not engaging in it, in the aggregate, could substantially affect interstate commerce, then the Congress can require the purchase of virtually anything. For example, this same rationale would allow Congress to punish individuals for not purchasing a host of health-related products, such as vitamin supplements, the use of which could lower aggregate health costs. Indeed, it is hard to imagine any private decision not to purchase a particular good or service that does not have some economic impact when aggregated among millions of people. Under that rationale, the government could mandate any commercial activity.”
The brief was signed by:
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Sen. Daniel Coats (R-IN), Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Sen. Michael Enzi (R-WY), Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. James Risch (R-ID), Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).