News Releases

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chambliss, Isakson Co-Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Constitutional Challenge of New Health Care Law

WASHINGTON - U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., today announced they have joined several of their Republican colleagues in co-signing an amicus brief supporting a court challenge against the terribly flawed health care law. The federal court challenge, which focuses on the constitutional concerns over the individual mandate in the new health care law, has been brought by numerous states, the National Federation of Independent Business and individual citizens.

"Never before has Congress passed a mandate ordering citizens to purchase a product," said Chambliss. "There are several questions surrounding the constitutionality of fining Americans for not buying insurance. There's something inherently un-American about that."

"The individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is unprecedented, and it is just one of the reasons I voted against the health care bill," said Isakson. "It is rightfully being challenged."

The brief makes two points. First, it asserts that the individual mandate in the new health care law is an unprecedented and unauthorized extension by Congress of its authority to "regulate Commerce..among the several States…" For the first time, Congress is mandating that its citizens purchase a particular product, and would allow the federal government to punish those who make a different choice.

Secondly, the brief argues that if the individual mandate is deemed constitutional, there will no longer be any meaningful limit on Congress' power to regulate its citizens under the Commerce Clause. Congress' specific power under that clause will be transformed into a general police power, all but eliminating the constitutional distinction between federal and state regulatory authority in our federal union.