Senators File Brief in Health Reform Challenge

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and 32 other GOP senators filed a brief on Thursday in favor of a court case challenging health care reform.

In the 16-page brief in a federal case based in Florida (see Court Green Lights FL HCR Challenge) McConnell argues that a key part of the new health care law – the requirement that all individuals have health insurance – is unconstitutional.  

“Where, as in this case with respect to the [health bill]’s individual mandate, Congress legislates without authority, it damages its institutional legitimacy and precipitates divisive federalism conflicts like the instant litigation,” McConnell wrote in the filing, according to The Hill. “The long term harms that the PPACA may do to our governmental institutions and constitutional architecture are at least as important as are the specific consequences of the PPACA.”  

GOP Senators who didn’t sign the brief are: Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts), Robert Bennett (R-Utah), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire), Richard Lugar (R-Indiana), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

The Hill said no Republican senators-elect signed onto the amicus curiae filing since the brief is an official Senate communication and none of the new members are sworn in. 

The brief is here.