Archives for June 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Analyzing the Decisions

As of June 2011, five District Courts and one Circuit Court have issued opinions on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.   On October 7, 2010, Judge George Caram Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan (Southern Division) issued his opinion in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, case no. 10-CV-11156.  The Sixth Circuit affirmed Judge Steeh on June 29, 2011.  On November 30, 2010, Judge Norman Moon of the Western District of Virginia (Lynchburg Division) issued his opinion in Liberty University v. Geithner, case no. 6:10-cv-00015.  On December 13, 2010, Judge Henry E. Hudson issued his opinion in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sibelius, case no. 3:10-cv-188.  On January 31, 2011,  Judge Roger Vinson issued his opinion in State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Division) case no. 3:10-cv-91 RV/EMT.  On February 22, 2011 Judge Gladys Kessler issued her opinion in Margaret Peggy Lee Mead, et al., v. Eric H. Holder, Jr. et al., USDC District of Columbia, civil action No. 10-950 (GK).  Each case has essentially focused on two issues: whether the Act’s Section 1501, the Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage,  violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution: and whether the penalty assessed against taxpayers who do not maintain the minimum level of coverage is a “tax” and therefore authorized under Congress’ taxing power.  These opinions are interesting but largely miss the mark in their analysis of whether the PPACA violates the Constitution.

[Read more…]