The mainstream media paid it little attention, but back in November the U.S. Supreme Court shocked many in the legal community by granting Liberty Counsel’s motion for a rehearing on its multi-pronged challenge to Obamacare. The High Court ordered the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear arguments. This is extremely rare and means, almost certainly, that Chief Justice Roberts will get another bite at the rotten apple – this time, with a whole new quiver of legal arrows.
Following the Supreme Court’s directive, Liberty Counsel recently filed its brief in the case of Liberty University v. Geithner. The Christian civil rights firm represents Liberty University and two private individuals in this case. While there are other legal challenges to the employer contraceptive/abortifacient mandate, Liberty Counsel’s is the most comprehensive case pending in the country.
The lawsuit challenges 1) the employer mandate for all employers; 2) the abortion mandate for religious employers; 3) the abortion mandate for individuals; and 4) the entire law because tax bills must originate in the House and Obamacare originated in the Senate.
This case is the only one in the country that challenges the entire employer mandate for all employers. Like other pending cases, Liberty Counsel’s also challenges the so-called “Preventative coverage” mandate, which requires employers to provide free contraceptives, sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs and IUDs, of which the latter two cause abortion.
Additionally, Obamacare compels individual citizens to violate their conscience by making them directly fund abortion homicide – both surgical and chemical – under penalty of law. It forces all employees who are part of a plan that offers abortion coverage to pay $1 per month directly to a “free” abortion fund. There is no opt-out provision, and information relative to which plans offer abortion is intentionally covered up. This, too, is part of the case, so don’t let anyone tell you that Obamacare doesn’t require you to fund abortion on demand. If they do, they’re simply lying through their teeth.
Finally, Liberty Counsel’s brief argues that Obamacare is invalid because, since it’s a tax – as the Supreme Court already ruled in June – it violates the Constitution’s Origination Clause. To pass constitutional muster, tax bills must originate in the House, not the Senate.
Before the Democrat-led Senate rammed it through in the dead of night, Christmas Eve 2009, Senate President Harry Reid used a House bill unrelated to Obamacare, struck all the language and the title so that only the former HR number remained, and then inserted a new title and over 2,000 pages of job-killing, economy-crushing, health-care-rationing compost.
Sneaky? Yes. Typical? No doubt. Unconstitutional? Absolutely. It’s like dropping a Ford Pinto engine into a totaled Ferrari body, patching it up and then selling it to some unsuspecting dupe as a “brand-new Ferrari.”
Unfortunately, America was that unsuspecting dupe.
Well, the jig’s up. The Constitution is unambiguous on this matter: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”
As Liberty Counsel’s brief notes, “Though denominated with a House bill number, the Act actually originated in the Senate, and therefore violates the Origination Clause.”
“Obamacare represents a frontal attack to religious freedom,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. “Obamacare is a train about to collide with the fundamental right to free exercise of religion. Not only does Obamacare violate the rights of religious employers because of its abortion mandate, it violates the rights of individuals who oppose abortion and the rights of all employers, religious or not.”
Yep, doctor shortages, medical-school dropouts, skyrocketing premiums, no money for pre-existing conditions, trillions more than promised, forced taxpayer funding of abortion, critical health-care rationing and a bankrupt nation.
Welcome to Obamacare.
Thankfully, Chief Justice Roberts, whom I strongly suspect regrets voting to uphold it, looks to have another chance to bury it once and for all.
I wonder if that was his strategy all along.
I sure hope so.
(Matt Barber is an attorney and vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.)