Monday, March 14, 2011

U.S. files its brief as appellee in New Jersey Physicians v. President

DOJ today filed its brief as appellee in the Third Circuit in New Jersey Physicians v. President of the United States. The brief is quite limited, devoting all of nine pages to the substance of its argument. The district court in this case--on very narrow, fact-specific grounds--held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the individual mandate. The United States argues here, in narrow, fact-specific ways, that this judgment was correct.

Here is the entire gist of the brief, arguing that the three plaintiffs lack standing:

"Patient Roe does not allege that he is experiencing present economic injury attributable to the Act’s minimum coverage provision, which will not take effect until 2014. His circumstances are thus unlike those of plaintiffs in other cases who were found to have standing to challenge the minimum coverage provision based on their allegations of present economic harm. Dr. Criscito makes no allegations regarding his insurance status, and relies primarily on the alleged impact that the minimum coverage provision will have on his medical practice when the provision takes effect in 2014. These allegations do not establish present injury and, moreover, his claims about the impact that the provision will have on his medical practice have “no basis” in the Act. [New Jersey Physicians]'s standing is predicated on the standing of the only member identified in the amended complaint, Dr. Criscito. Because Dr. Criscito lacks standing, NJP lacks standing to sue as well."  

You can access the brief here.