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COULD THIS NEW LAWSUIT REALLY KILL ‘OBAMACARE’?
The Blaze ^ | 04/01/2013 | Becket Adams

Posted on 04/01/2013 5:12:20 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Although it's widely believed that “Obamacare” is here to stay, one lawsuit is threatening to undo President Obama’s landmark health care bill.

“A challenge filed by the Pacific Legal Foundation contends that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House. Under the Origination Clause of the Constitution, all bills raising revenue must begin in the House,” the Washington Times notes.

You may recall in June 2012 when the Supreme Court ruled on “Obamacare” that Chief Justice John Roberts defined the bill as a tax, not a mandate. This, according to the Times, is where PFL attorneys saw their opening.

“The court there quite explicitly says, ‘This is not a law passed under the Commerce Clause; this is just a tax,’” foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur said recently. “Well, then the Origination Clause ought to apply. The courts should not be out there carving in new exceptions to the Origination Clause.”

The Times explains the details:

The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the challenge in November, arguing that the high court has considered only eight Origination Clause cases in its history and “has never invalidated an act of Congress on that basis.”

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is expected to rule on the Justice Department’s motion “any day now,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Paul J. Beard.

The challenge citing the Origination Clause isn’t the only lawsuit against Obamacare, but it is the only one that has the potential to wipe out the entire act in one fell swoop. Other claims, notably the freedom-of-religion cases dealing with the birth control requirement, nibble at the fringes but would leave the law largely intact.

In their brief, attorneys for the Justice Department argue that the bill originated as House Resolution 3590, which was then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act. After passing the House, the bill was stripped in a process known as “gut and amend” and replaced entirely with the contents of what became the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Though unorthodox, the government motion argues that using H.R. 3590 as a “shell bill” is not unconstitutional.

“This commonplace procedure satisfied the Origination Clause,” said the brief. “It makes no difference that the Senate amendments to H.R. 3590 were expansive. The Senate may amend a House bill in any way it deems advisable, even by amending it with a total substitute, without running afoul of the Origination Clause.”

The brief notes several cases where shell bills have been upheld by courts.

“[B]ut foundation attorneys counter that those rulings involved the Senate substitution of one revenue-raising bill for another,” the Times notes.

The DOJ also points out that the court has allowed revenue bills to originate in the Senate provided “the money raised was incidental to the bill’s mission.”

“Here, by contrast, it is undisputed that H.R. 3590 was not originally a bill for raising revenue,” said the Pacific Legal Foundation lawsuit. “Unlike in the prior cases, the Senate’s gut-and-amend procedure made H.R. 3590 for the first time into a bill for raising revenue. The precedents the government cites are therefore inapplicable.”

The point of “Obamacare” is to “improve the nation’s health care system,” and it does that “through a series of interrelated provisions, many, if not most, of which have nothing to do with raising revenue,” said the government brief.

But Sandefur disagrees.

“What kinds of taxes are not for raising revenue?” he asked.

Although it’s unclear whether PFL’s lawsuit will scuttle the president’s health care law, one thing is certain: “Obamacare” has at least one more hurdle to clear before final implementation.

Click here to read the full report.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: lawsuit; obamacare

1 posted on 04/01/2013 5:12:20 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

More from FOX NEWS:

http://nation.foxnews.com/obamacare/2013/04/01/lawsuit-over-health-care-tax-could-kill-obamacare

EXCERPT:

The Supreme Court upheld most provisions of the act in June, but Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. took pains in the majority opinion to define Obamacare as a federal tax, not a mandate. That was when the Sacramento, Calif.-based foundation’s attorneys had their “aha” moment.

“The court there quite explicitly says, ‘This is not a law passed under the Commerce Clause; this is just a tax,’” foundation attorney Timothy Sandefur said at a Cato Institute forum on legal challenges to the health care act. “Well, then the Origination Clause ought to apply. The courts should not be out there carving in new exceptions to the Origination Clause.”

The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the challenge in November, arguing that the high court has considered only eight Origination Clause cases in its history and “has never invalidated an act of Congress on that basis.”


2 posted on 04/01/2013 5:15:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

To the headline:
Oh God Almighty, I hope so.


3 posted on 04/01/2013 5:15:45 PM PDT by svcw (Why is one cell on another planet considered life, and in the womb it is not.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Until Senators are once again appointed by the States, there is no chance our republic will be restored.


4 posted on 04/01/2013 5:22:14 PM PDT by Jacquerie ("How few were left who had seen the republic!" - Tacitus, The Annals)
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To: SeekAndFind

One of the differences between Conservatives and Libtards is that WE follow the rules - Libtards pick and chose what rules to follow, and only when it suits their purpose.


5 posted on 04/01/2013 5:27:22 PM PDT by Hodar (A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.- Burroughs)
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To: SeekAndFind

SC is also working on killing it:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3003125/posts


6 posted on 04/01/2013 5:33:29 PM PDT by carriage_hill (The most insidious power the news media has, is the power to ignore.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Why couldn’t it be invalidated because it does not treat everyone equal. Some will be exempt, some will pay nothing, some will pay more but for the exact same thing.


7 posted on 04/01/2013 5:34:30 PM PDT by funfan
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To: SeekAndFind

Yes this could invalidate the statute. If we have honest judiciary...


8 posted on 04/01/2013 5:41:42 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: faithhopecharity

There’s the hang-up.


9 posted on 04/01/2013 5:44:57 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: carriage_hill
SC is also working on killing it:

The state's working to 'exempt' their citizens are opening a potential Pandora's box. The IRS could decide that it will enforce federal law, regardless of state action - setting up a potential mess. Think of the current trend regarding marijuana. Federal agencies will enforce federal statutes - period.

This case involving the Pacific Legal Foundation is intriguing. There is one HUGE issue, however: This should not require court action. All that needs to happen is for the People's House to act and declare it void - no Senate or court action needed. The SCOTUS left the door open, in the same manner, regarding the 17th amendment - the House just never acted upon it. Boehner is the issue right now - we don't need the courts.

10 posted on 04/01/2013 5:47:36 PM PDT by RobertClark ("May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't" - George S. Patton)
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To: OldPossum

well, they have lifetime tenure so there’s no reason for them to be anything but honest (unless they have some reason to fear for their lives? but of course that couldn’t happen in USA, could it? I mean, that sort of thing only happens in dictatorships....)


11 posted on 04/01/2013 6:00:40 PM PDT by faithhopecharity (()
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To: Hodar

remember when the dimocrats were apoplectic that the republican might use the nuclear option. THEN they went and did it on the health’care’ legislation without the least bit of concern for the obvious hypocrisy. Why? Because they knew the media would bury it deep.


12 posted on 04/01/2013 6:03:47 PM PDT by Josa
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To: funfan

I agree - - there are equal protection issues here!!!


13 posted on 04/01/2013 6:21:54 PM PDT by Mr. Wright
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To: Josa
IIRC, the Senate took a House originated bill,gutted the language, inserted the Obamacare language, then followed with the “deemed it passed in the House” nonsense that then followed. So”technically” THAT bill DID originate in the HOUSE. ( If I remember correctly )
14 posted on 04/01/2013 6:24:00 PM PDT by hatter ( Cr*p. Just realized I'm still "it" from a game of Tag in 1969.)
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To: hatter

^This. Dingy Harry took a house appropriations bill and struck every single word including the title and inserted the Affordable Care Act as an amendment. This lawsuit will go nowhere.


15 posted on 04/01/2013 6:46:44 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: RobertClark
All that needs to happen is for the People's House to act and declare it void - no Senate or court action needed.

You need to expand on this. I am not aware that anyone has ever suggested that the House could act unilaterally to upend Obamacare apart from defunding it.

FReegards!


16 posted on 04/01/2013 6:52:12 PM PDT by Agamemnon (Darwinism is the glue that holds liberalism together)
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To: Yo-Yo

When they took a totally different bill, deleted all the text and replaced it with new text, they cheated. I noticed this from day one. They bypassed the entire process by bending the rules into a pretzel. The entire text of the bill did not come from the house originally. Its like a murderer getting off on a technicality. So as it stands the senate can create tax and spend bills by using a cheap weasel trick that bypasses an explicit requirement of the constitution.

If they did this on paper, they would have to erase it and rewrite the bill text. If they did that, the sheet of paper would have come from the house, but the text of the actual ‘bill’ would come from the senate.

The text is the part of the bill that must originate in the house, be examined debated and approved, not the sheet of paper or empty shell of a pdf file. Hell, they can take any random house bill and re-create it from scratch then pass it off as law.


17 posted on 04/02/2013 6:20:27 AM PDT by bigtoona
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To: bigtoona
Unfortunately, using a shell bill in this manner is a common practice and is done on a regular basis, not just for Obamacare.

Fair or not, it will stand up in court, and SCOTUS won't even vote to hear the case after it is dismissed by district court.

18 posted on 04/02/2013 6:30:05 AM PDT by Yo-Yo
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