In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held that the individual mandate of ObamaCare is constitutional.
Writing for the majority, Senior Judge Laurence Silberman (photo), a Reagan appointee, affirmed that by enacting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, specifically the provision mandating that everyone purchase qualifying health insurance, Congress did not exceed the authority ceded to it by the states in the Constitution. The ruling was made in the case of Seven-sky, et al. v. Holder, wherein the American Center for Law and Justice claimed on behalf of the plaintiffs that the ObamaCare mandate at the heart of the issue violated the Constitution, including the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the First Amendment’s guarantee of the right to freely exercise religious freedom without the interference of Congress. The suit sought declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting that the court prevent the Obama administration from enforcing the offending mandate.
The First Amendment claim implicated ObamaCare in that it forced citizens to rely on health insurance, regardless of religious beliefs to the contrary. The D.C. Court affirmed the lower court’s rejection of this argument. In the opinion, Judge Silberman addressed several issues of vital importance to constitutionalists and those who advocate the protection of the sovereignty of the states.
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