Judge Rules Health Care Mandate is Constitutional

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

The first official ruling on the constitutionality of the individual mandate in ObamaCare that will force consumers to buy health care coverage came from a Detroit judge yesterday afternoon who determined that Congress does indeed have the power to do so.

According to a press release from the Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm who represented four Michigan plaintiffs in a suit against the mandate, Detroit Federal District Judge George Caram Steeh ruled that Congress does have the authority under its Commerce Clause power to enact the individual mandate provision of the Act. This provision requires individuals to purchase health care insurance under penalty of federal law.

Judge Steeh is the first judge to nationally rule on the key objection to the law. The Thomas More Law Center, a national Christian public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor Michigan, sued on behalf of itself and four plaintiffs. By ruling in favor of the plaintiffs on all the jurisdictional issues, the case is in a posture for review by federal appellate courts on the substantive issue of whether the health care law violates the Commerce Clause.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center commented, “Obama Care is one of the most oppressive measures in the history of our Nation. And it was passed by Congress despite overwhelming opposition of the American people. It was not about reforming health care, but government seizure of unprecedented power over our lives. It transfers control of one-sixth of our Nation’s economy to Washington bureaucrats, and it will add an estimated 16,000 to 20,000 additional IRS agents to monitor tax returns and records to determine compliance with the new regulations. We will continue to challenge it in the courts.”

According to the Law Center, the court took the extraordinary step of concluding that Congress’ Commerce Clause power does not end at regulating economic activity. Rather, this power can be extended to regulate economic decisions whether made consciously or not.

The court stated, “While plaintiffs describe the Commerce Clause power as reaching economic activity, the government’s characterization of the Commerce Clause reaching economic decisions is more accurate.”

Rob Muise, The Law Center’s senior trial counsel who handled the case commented, “This decision is ripe for appeal, which we intend to do expeditiously.”

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