Judge set to rule on Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss by Oct. 14
Published on September 15, 2010
by ROV Group
Federal District Judge Roger Vinson said today he would rule on the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the 20-state lawsuit against President Obama’s Affordable Care Act by October 14. Judge Vinson indicated that he would most likely dismiss several counts in the challenge, but still allow the case to proceed under at least one count—leading to jubilation among the mostly Republican attorneys general involved in the case.
“This day will be known as the Battle of Pensacola,” said Troy King, attorney general from Alabama, one of several plaintiff states represented at the hearing today in United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Divion. “This was the day 20 states defended the Constitution and fought for individual liberties against government takeover,” King added.
The lawsuit claims that the sweeping reform of our $2.5 trillion dollar healthcare system violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and places additional financial burden on state governments. Challengers to the health care law include not only the 20 states, but also the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small business lobbying group, as well as two private citizens. A small group of protestors for both sides held signs outside the courthouse, where numerous media trucks had parked by 8:15 a.m.
The DOJ argued that the states did not have standing in the case. Yet plaintiffs’ attorneys led by Washington, DC lawyer and Constitutional scholar, David Rivkin, countered that states had already begun spending in preparation for the law. Rivkin also noted the government was implying “cost-shifting” can only be done one way—theirs.
“This case is unprecedented,” Rivkin said in response to the DOJ accusing plaintiffs of ignoring 70 years of case law.
Judge Vinson said oral arguments would be scheduled for Dec. 16th on motions for summary judgments from both sides. Should the case proceed, it is likely to be decided eventually by the U.S. Supreme Court.