Sen. Paul Files Brief in Supreme Court Against Federal Healthcare Overhaul

by Devin Katayama on February 22, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Circuit Court’s decision that the new federal healthcare law is unconstitutional.

The deadline to submit a brief has passed and several briefs for and against the new federal healthcare law’s individual mandates have been filed. Paul was in Louisville Wednesday to discuss the brief he submitted to the Supreme Court last week.

Paul addressed a room of Louisville lawyers and members of the local Federalist Society chapter and said the new healthcare mandates overstep government boundaries. He’s now asking the Supreme Court to overrule the mandates and uphold a lower court’s decision.

By doing so, the Supreme Court would overturn a precedent the court itself set in the 1940s that allows the federal government to step in if interstate commerce is compromised, Paul said.

“Wickard (Wickard v. Filburn) was a case back in the 40s that expanded the Commerce Clause to let the government do more and tell you how many crops you can grow and things like that. So what we’re hoping is they can overturn Wickard because we think that you’re land is you’re land and you ought to be able to decide how many crops you want to grow on your own land,” he said.

Paul further argues that the federal government is improperly using the Commerce Clause as a way to require businesses to meet certain mandates for employee coverage.

“The Commerce Clause of the Constitution is what they’re arguing allows them to regulate and force you to buy insurance. The Supreme Court is going to work on this. We think the Supreme Court is going to strike this down,” said Paul.

Proponents of healthcare reform say individual mandates for insurance are necessary if pre-existing conditions are to be banned. Otherwise, advocates say nothing would stop people from only buying insurance once they’re sick. Several parts of the Affordable Care Act are being challenged in court.

The Supreme Court will hear the case in March.

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