DENVER - A western, nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation on Feb. 10 filed its friend of the court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court and urged the court to uphold a ruling by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholding a Florida federal district court ruling that the individual mandate in the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" is unconstitutional.
Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF), which has argued in its amicus curiae briefs filed in various federal district courts and courts of appeals - on behalf of its members across the country - that the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase health care insurance or pay a fine, is unconstitutional, earlier urged the Supreme Court to grant certiorari. The Florida court also ruled that, because the federal statute contains no severability clause, the presence of an unconstitutional provision requires that the entire law be declared void.
"From its earlier days, the federal government has been one of limited powers, which will cease being the case if the Supreme Court allows this law to stand," said William Perry Pendley, MSLF president.
Since the act became law in March 2010, several lawsuits have been filed to challenge its constitutionality; most notable among them are the lawsuit filed by 27 states, as well as other plaintiffs, led by Florida, and the lawsuit filed by Virginia. All challenge the individual mandate, as well as other provisions, as conflicting with the Constitution.
MSLF argues that America's embrace of limited government of specific enumerated powers began in the pre-Revolutionary Days, continued through the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and has been upheld by the federal judiciary, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
MSLF, created in 1977, is a nonprofit, public-interest legal foundation dedicated to individual liberty, the right to own and use property, limited and ethical government and the free enterprise system. Its offices are in suburban Denver.
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