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6th Circuit Appeals Thomas More v Healthcare Law

6th Circuit Appeals Thomas More v Healthcare Law

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Published by Andrew Simpson
Federal Appeals Court upholds healthcare law and individual mandate.
Federal Appeals Court upholds healthcare law and individual mandate.

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Published by: Andrew Simpson on Jun 29, 2011
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06/29/2011

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*
The Honorable James L. Graham, Senior United States District Judge for the Southern Districtof Ohio, sitting by designation.
RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION 
Pursuant to Sixth Circuit Rule 206File Name: 11a0168p.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT_________________
T
HOMAS
M
ORE
L
AW
C
ENTER
;
 
J
ANN
D
E
M
ARS
;J
OHN
C
ECI
;
 
S
TEVEN
H
YDER
;
 
S
ALINA
H
YDER
,
Plaintiffs-Appellants,v.
B
ARACK
H
USSEIN
O
BAMA
, in his officialcapacity as President of the United States;K
ATHLEEN
S
EBELIUS
, in her official capacityas Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services; E
RIC
H.H
OLDER
,
 
J
R
., in his official capacity asAttorney General of the United States;T
IMOTHY
F.
 
G
EITHNER
, in his officialcapacity as Secretary, United StatesDepartment of Treasury,
 Defendants-Appellees.
X----
>
,---------------N
No. 10-2388
Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the Eastern District of Michigan at Detroit.No. 10-11156—George C. Steeh, District Judge.Argued: June 1, 2011Decided and Filed: June 29, 2011Before: MARTIN and SUTTON, Circuit Judges; GRAHAM, District Judge.
*
_________________
COUNSELARGUED:
Robert J. Muise, THOMAS MORE LAW CENTER, Ann Arbor, Michigan,for Appellants. Neal Kumar Katyal, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,Washington, D.C., for Appellees.
ON BRIEF:
Robert J. Muise, THOMAS MORELAW CENTER, Ann Arbor, Michigan, David Yerushalmi, LAW OFFICES OF DAVIDYERUSHALMI, P.C., Chandler, Arizona, for Appellants. Neal Kumar Katyal, Mark B.
1
 
No. 10-2388
Thomas More Law Center, et al. v. Obama, et al.
Page 2
1
Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), amended by the Health Care and EducationReconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 1029.
Stern, Alisa B. Klein, Anisha Dasgupta, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OFJUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellees. Edward L. White, AMERICAN CENTERFOR LAW AND JUSTICE, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Steven J. Lechner, Joel M. Spector,MOUNTAIN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION, Lakewood, Colorado, Ilya Shapiro,Robert A. Levy, David H. Rittgers, CATO INSTITUTE, Washington, D.C., Cory L.Andrews, WASHINGTON LEGAL FOUNDATION, Washington, D.C., Steven J.Willis, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA COLLEGE OF LAW, Gainesville, Florida,Catherine E. Stetson, HOGAN LOVELLS US LLP, Washington, D.C., Kristin M.Houser, SCHROETER, GOLDMARK & BENDER, Seattle, Washington, Keith S.Dubanevich, OREGON DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Salem, Oregon, Walter E.Dellinger, Washington, D.C., Ian R. Millhiser, CENTER FOR AMERICANPROGRESS, Washington, D.C., John L. Longstreth, Molly K. Suda, K&L GATES LLP,Washington, D.C., Rochelle Bobroff, NATIONAL SENIOR CITIZENS LAW CENTER,Washington, D.C., Richard L. Rosen, ARNOLD & PORTER LLP, Washington, D.C.,Charles A. Rothfeld, MAYER BROWN, Washington, D.C., for Amici Curiae.MARTIN, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which SUTTON, J., andGRAHAM, D. J., concurred as to Parts I (background) and II (subject matter jurisdiction) and in which SUTTON, J., concurred in the judgment. SUTTON, J. (pp.27–53), delivered the opinion of the court as to Part I (taxing power) of his opinion, inwhich GRAHAM, D. J., joins. GRAHAM, D. J. (pp. 54–64), delivered a separateopinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.
_________________OPINION_________________
BOYCE F. MARTIN, JR., Circuit Judge. This is an appeal from the districtcourt’s determination that the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection andAffordable Care Act
1
is constitutionally sound. Among the Act’s many changes to thenational markets in health care delivery and health insurance, the minimum coverageprovision requires all applicable individuals to maintain minimum essential healthinsurance coverage or to pay a penalty. 26 U.S.C. § 5000A.
 
No. 10-2388
Thomas More Law Center, et al. v. Obama, et al.
Page 3
2
Jann DeMars and Steven Hyder are members of Thomas More, while John Ceci and SalinaHyder are not.
Plaintiffs include Thomas More Law Center, a public interest law firm, and fourindividuals: Jann DeMars, John Ceci, Steven Hyder, and Salina Hyder.
2
The individualplaintiffs are United States citizens, Michigan residents, and federal taxpayers who claimthat the minimum coverage provision unconstitutionally compels them to purchasehealth insurance. Thomas More does not assert any injury to itself as an organizationor employer, but rather objects to the provision on behalf of its members.Plaintiffs sought a declaration that Congress lacked authority under theCommerce Clause to pass the minimum coverage provision, and alternatively adeclaration that the penalty is an unconstitutional tax. The district court held that theminimum coverage provision falls within Congress’s authority under the CommerceClause for two principal reasons: (1) the provision regulates economic decisionsregarding how to pay for health care that have substantial effects on the interstate healthcare market; and (2) the provision is essential to the Act’s larger regulation of theinterstate market for health insurance. Because the district court found the provision tobe authorized by the Commerce Clause, it declined to address whether it was apermissible tax under the General Welfare Clause. The district court denied plaintiffsmotion for a preliminary injunction, and they appeal.This opinion is divided into several parts. First, it provides background on theAffordable Care Act and the minimum coverage provision. Second, it addresses thisCourt’s jurisdiction. Third, it considers whether the provision is authorized by theCommerce Clause of the Constitution. Fourth, it declines to address whether theprovision is authorized by the General Welfare Clause. We find that the minimumcoverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under theCommerce Clause and therefore
AFFIRM
the decision of the district court.

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