When Missouri voters attempted to stop ObamaCare at the ballot box via the initiative process, the national news media took notice. In the August 3 vote, 7 in 10 voters in the "Show Me State" supported Proposition C, which overturns government mandates requiring health insurance. Proposition C actually bars penalties against people who pay their own health bills without insurance.
On August 2, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled against a U.S. Justice Department request to throw out a lawsuit brought by Virginia against ObamaCare. Virginia is arguing in the lawsuit that the U.S. Congress had unconstitutionally exceeded its powers by forcing individuals to buy insurance.
Hudson wrote, "While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate -- and tax -- a citizen's decision not to participate in interstate commerce..."
Hudson continues by saying there is, "some authority arguably supporting the theory underlying each side's position." Hudson's decision sets up the opportunity to have appellate and eventually the Supreme Court decide these issues.
But our personal favorite of the many lawsuits challenging ObamaCare is from Arizona. Yes, the land of immigration enforcement could also be the site of a major constitutional battle about ObamaCare. The citizens of Arizona are restless with their Washington, D.C. overseers.
The Goldwater Institute, a public policy outfit named for Arizona's most famous son, is taking a different swing at the question.
Representing a local business owner, Nick Coons of Tempe, Ariz., the Goldwater Institute has built an intriguing legal strategy which will shake up the debate: "Mr. Coons pays for all of his medical care out of his own pocket and he wants to continue making his own health care decisions. Under the federal health care bill, Mr. Coons will face significant fines from the IRS if he doesn't buy a health insurance plan that has been approved by the government by 2014."
In announcing the lawsuit Coons complained, "The government is making me spend money on something that I don't want. Is a stranger who works for the government in some other part of the country really going to know what I need? I am the best qualified to make these decisions for myself."
The Goldwater Institute's lawyer is well-known constitutional litigator Clint Bolick. Bolick argues, "The new federal law also violates Mr. Coons' medical privacy by forcing him to disclose his medical records to an insurance company, and those records could be accessed by the federal government and others without his permission."