Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Non-state plaintiffs file petition for certiorari in Florida v. HHS

The non-state plaintiffs in Florida v. HHS -- the National Federation for Independent Businesses and two individuals, Kaj Ahlburg and Mary Brown -- have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari at the Supreme Court. The question presented in the petition is whether the individual mandate is severable. Specifically, here how the petition phrases the QP:
Congress effected a sweeping and comprehensive restructuring of the Nation’s health-insurance markets in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 124 Stat. 119 (2010), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-152, 124 Stat. 109 (2010) (collectively, the “ACA” or “Act”). But the Eleventh Circuit and the Sixth Circuit now have issued directly conflicting final judgments about the facial constitutionality of the ACA’s mandate that virtually every individual American must obtain health insurance. 26 U.S.C. § 5000A. Moreover, despite the fact that the mandate is a “requirement” that Congress itself deemed “essential” to the Act’s new insurance regulations, 42 U.S.C. § 18091(a)(2)(I), the Eleventh Circuit held that the mandate is severable from the remainder of
the Act. 
The question presented is whether the ACA must be invalidated in its entirety because it is nonseverable from the individual mandate that exceeds Congress’ limited and enumerated powers under the Constitution.
UPDATE: You can access the cert petition here.

UPDATE 2: The Supreme Court docket number for NFIB v. Sebelius is 11-393. And Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog has this report on the NFIB's petition.