Questions over the constitutionality of provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — may still unresolved.
A relatively unheralded lawsuit, Liberty University, et al vs, Geithner, was given new life today by the United States Supreme Court when it remanded the case back to the Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA. At issue are the constitutionality of the employer mandate and forced funding of abortions in light of the First Amendment free exercise of religion clause.
According to a press release issued by Liberty Counsel and titled, “High Court Breathes New Life Into ObamaCare Lawsuit:”
2010, Liberty Counsel filed the first private lawsuit against ObamaCare on the day it was signed by President Obama. In 2011, an appeals court in Richmond, VA, ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA) barred the court from addressing the merits in the Liberty University case, which challenged the individual mandate (Section 1501) and the employer insurance mandate (Section 1513) of ObamaCare. In addition to the constitutional arguments that Congress lacked authority to pass the law, the suit also raised the Free Exercise of Religion and the RFRA claims because of the forced abortion funding.
The first day of oral argument was dedicated to the AIA, the issue that Liberty University’s case placed before the High Court. In June, the Supreme Court ruled that the AIA does not apply to ObamaCare. Therefore, Liberty Counsel asked the Court to grant its petition (because Liberty University prevailed on the AIA claim), vacate the ruling of the court of appeals, and remand (send back) the case to the court of appeals to consider the Free Exercise claim and the employer mandate, neither of which were decided by the High Court.
“I am very pleased with the High Court’s ruling. Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare. Our fight against ObamaCare is far from over,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law. “Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance. But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience,” Staver said.
Liberty Counsel represents the plaintiffs to the lawsuit.