Wednesday, May 12, 2010

U.S. Citizens Association Files Constitutional Challenge to Health Care Reform Law in U.S. District Court in Ohio

Akron, Ohio—Attorneys for the United States Citizens Association (USCA) and five individual plaintiffs (Nathan R. Glick; Christopher Barr; Shane K. Ellison; James Grapek; and Eileen Dannemann) filed suit today challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. No. 111-148, H.R. 3590), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Pub. L. No. 111-152, H.R. 4872) (collectively, the “Health Reform Law”). Jonathan W. Emord of Emord & Associates, P.C. (lead counsel); William G. Williams of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co. L.P.A.; and David Grossack filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The suit challenges the Health Reform Law’s mandatory requirement that every uninsured American purchase health insurance. The suit contends that the federal government has no constitutional power to compel citizens to purchase a particular product with after tax dollars. No such power exists in Article One of the United States Constitution under the Commerce Clause (U.S. Const. Art. I, § 8, cl. 3). The suit also contends that the mandatory requirement violates the freedom of association protected by the First Amendment (U.S. Const. amend. I) by forcing Americans to obtain unwanted insurance; violates the liberty provision of the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause (U.S. Const. amend. V) by forcing Americans to buy a product, insurance, that they wish not to buy; and the right to privacy protected as a liberty right under the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments because it compels them to divulge confidential health information to an insurer against their will.

The United States Citizens Association of Akron, Ohio seeks to promote conservative values and, in particular, to protect individual rights against government programs that violate them.

Never before in our nation’s history has the government of the United States compelled Americans to buy a particular product, such as health insurance,” said lead counsel Jonathan W. Emord. “There is no constitutional power for the federal government to compel such a purchase; indeed, each of us has a fundamental right not only to refuse medical treatment but to refuse to pay for unwanted treatment,” he said.

If the federal government prevails,” said Emord, “then there is no limit to what it may compel Americans to purchase with their after tax dollars, thus limiting to an ever greater extent freedom of choice.” “If the government can force you to buy a health insurance plan,” he said, “what is to stop it from forcing you to buy an electric car, solar heating, or recyclable products—all of which could equally be defined as indispensable by a political decisionmaker.”

A copy of the complaint is available on the U.S. Citizens Association web site at


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