Monday, January 31, 2011

FRC Praises Florida Judge for Striking Down Entire Health Care Law

Family Research Council praised today's ruling by Federal Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida that strikes down the entire health care law that President Obama signed into law in 2010, including the individual mandate. The law mandates that individuals purchase health insurance, and also funds abortion with federal tax dollars.

Family Research Council's amicus brief, drafted by FRC's Special Counsel Ken Klukowski, argued that if the "individual mandate" is unconstitutional, then the entire law must be struck down.

Judge Vinson quoted Klukowski (pg. 32 and footnote 27 on pg. 64) in his opinion. Judge Vinson wrote that he borrowed "heavily"from FRC's amicus brief and said the brief "quite cogently and effectively sets forth the applicable standard and governing analysis of severability." FRC filed the only amicus brief focusing exclusively on how the individual mandate cannot be severed from the law.

Klukowski, who also serves as Director of FRC's Center for Religious Liberty, made the following comments:

"Today's ruling makes clear that as long as the mandate is in place, the entire law rests on an unconstitutional foundation. If the foundation crumbles, the whole law falls.

"We applaud Judge Vinson for striking down the entire law, recognizing that the individual mandate cannot be severed from the other 450 sections of the statute. The individual mandate is the essential heart of this legislation. We are grateful that Judge Vinson agreed with our argument that controlling Supreme Court precedents require striking down the entire law.

"No part of the Constitution empowers the federal government to command American citizens to spend their own personal money to purchase health insurance.

"We urge the Senate to follow the lead of the House of Representatives and move to repeal this unconstitutional law in its entirely, not merely to tinker with various provisions," Klukowski concluded.

Click here to read a DC Examiner opinion piece by FRC Special Counsel Ken Klukowski explaining why Obamacare's individual mandate cannot be severed to save the rest of the law.

Click here to read FRC's brief in the multi-state Florida lawsuit.

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