Thursday, September 1, 2011

District court issues mixed ruling in Bryant v. Holder

On Tuesday, the District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting in part and denying in part the United States's motion to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds. The crux of the court's holding was as follows:

* Some of the plaintiffs had alleged sufficient facts to demonstrate a present injury from the need to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014, and thus they had standing to claim that the minimum coverage provision exceeded Congress's enumerated powers.

* Plaintiff Bryant had failed to allege sufficient facts showing that he would be an employee of Mississippi, and thus "he did not show an imminent, concrete harm arising from the minimum essential coverage provision’s effect on the health insurance plans offered by the state of Mississippi to its employees," and lacked standing to press this claim.

* The plaintiffs have standing to raise their claim that the minimum coverage provision, by requiring them to disclose health-related information to private insurers, violates their constitutional right to medical privacy.

* There is no need for further jurisdictional discovery.

The parties are now to meet with Judge Starrett to establish a briefing schedule for their respective motions for summary judgment.

You can access Judge Starrett's opinion here.