Here’s a notable development from late last week that escaped my notice: A sizable contingent of members of Congress (36 senators and 117 representatives, all Republicans, it appears) filed “friend of the court” briefs on Friday, Jan. 6, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Obamacare unconstitutional, reports the Capitol Hill rag Roll Call.
The crux of the matter is that lawmakers question the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and argue that the entire law should be struck down as a result. The notable Arkansas connection is that Senator John Boozman and Rep. Tim Griffin are listed as signatories to the briefs submitted by members of their respective legislative bodies.
The House effort was spearheaded by the conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who explain in plainer language (read: not legalese) here:
“It is clear that ObamaCare was never designed to and cannot operate without the individual mandate, a key unconstitutional provision that forces Americans to purchase health insurance under penalty of law,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Nearly 30 percent of the U.S. House has joined with us—as well as more than 100,000 Americans—in urging the Supreme Court to declare this deeply flawed health care law unconstitutional. The fact is the unconstitutional individual mandate is the essential element of the health care law, and the balance of ObamaCare cannot function independently without it. You can’t have one without the other. We’re urging the high court to declare the entire health care law invalid, since the unconstitutional individual mandate cannot be severed from ObamaCare.”
You know, I tried to sex up this post with that exclamation point in the headline, to maybe make the news a little more exciting, but anytime the words “amicus brief” appear in a headline you just know it’s gonna be a tough slog.