July 19, 2011
ST. LOUIS - Late Monday, 21 states filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit supporting Lt. Governor Peter Kinder in his constitutional challenge to the Individual Mandate provision of the federal healthcare law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC).
These states were represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who joined Lt. Governor Kinder in asking the Eighth Circuit to "hold the individual mandate unconstitutional."
Separately, more than 150 elected executive and legislative officials of states within the Eighth Circuit filed a brief asking the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reach the substantive constitutional issue and not delay resolving the case on procedural grounds.
"Time is of the essence and a decision on the constitutionality of the Individual mandate by (the Eighth Circuit) is needed as soon as possible," the brief said.
These state officials included Missouri House Speaker Steven Tilly, R-Perryville, and Missouri Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, as well as 127 members of the Missouri Legislature. Arkansas Lt. Governor Mark Darr also signed on to the brief along with twenty-four legislators from Minnesota. These elected officials were represented by Chuck Cooper, a noted constitutional authority and former Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan and former law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
"This is very significant and welcome support of our challenge to the federal health care law," said Lt. Governor Kinder. "The support of twenty-one other states and all of these elected officials illustrates the importance of this case now pending before the Eighth Circuit."
"This support also illustrates the broad consensus that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it passed this law forcing individuals to buy a specific insurance policy designed by federal bureaucrats," Kinder added. "I am confident the Eighth Circuit will consider the views of such respected constitutional authorities such as Paul Clement and Chuck Cooper."
The Department of Justice will file its reply brief on Aug. 11. Missouri Attorney General Koster filed a brief in the 11th Circuit arguing the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional. But Koster has not brought any challenge to PPACA on behalf of Missouri as a state nor has he filed a brief supporting Lt. Gov. Kinder’s challenge.
The 21 states included in the brief are Texas, Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
The brief filed by the States can be viewed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/60382348/21-states-file-brief-supporting-Kinder.
The brief filed by 154 elected officials in the 8th Circuit can be viewed here: