WASHINGTON, Aug. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Family Research Council (FRC) supported today's ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit striking down the core provision of President Obama's healthcare law, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That provision, known as the "individual mandate," would compel all Americans to buy health insurance.
FRC disagreed, however, with the Court's decision to uphold the rest of the law as constitutional, arguing that the individual mandate was "severable" from the rest of the law. FRC filed an amicus brief in the case arguing that because the law does not contain a "severability clause," which allows parts of a law to be struck down while leaving the rest of the law intact, the individual mandate is inseparable from the 2010 law, and thus the whole law is unconstitutional.
FRC President Tony Perkins made the following comments about the decision:
"I applaud the Court's decision striking down Obamacare's individual mandate. The federal government has never had the constitutional power to regulate commercial inaction. On the other hand, the Family Research Council participated in this case by filing a friend of the court brief, and FRC's Ken Klukowski correctly argued that the individual mandate is so tightly enmeshed with the statute's other provisions that they cannot be separated, especially since the law does not contain a severability clause.
"It will not be long before the U.S. Supreme Court takes up this case, and we believe that it will also find the individual mandate unconstitutional. FRC will continue to argue that if the foundation of the law – the individual mandate – is struck down, then the remaining provisions of the law cannot be salvaged.
"Finally, no decisions by courts should make us lose sight of the fact that the passage of this law was a terrible mistake, and every effort should be made to ensure its repeal," concluded Perkins.
The Court found that forcing individuals to buy insurance "exceed[ed] Congress's enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional." It noted that Congress has vast power under the Commerce Clause, but it cannot "mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die."
To read a copy of FRC's amicus brief in the case, click here: http://www.frc.org/legalbrief/amicus-brief-florida-v-us-department-of-health-and-human-services.
SOURCE Family Research Council