Release: 154 Lawmakers to Appeals Court: Framers Would Have Backed Health Law

Monday, April 11, 2011
CONTACT: Charles Monaco, Progressive States Network, (212) 680-3116 x 115

Lawmakers to U.S. Appeals Court: Framers of Constitution Would Have Backed Health Law

154 Legislators from 26 States File Amicus Brief Supporting Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act

New York, NY - Over 150 lawmakers representing 26 states have joined together to deliver a powerful message to the federal appellate court currently considering the Tea Party-fueled challenge to the health care law: that the framers of the constitution, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, would have supported the law as constitutional.

In a "Friend of the Court" brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, state legislators working with Progressive States Network and the Constitutional Accountability Centerstood up to defend the law against the right-wing attorneys general andgovernors who have spent the past year playing politics with the healthsecurity of American families.

"There is no question that the framers of our Constitution would havesupported the health law, as this brief convincingly argues,” said State Sen. Joe Bolkcom(Iowa), Chair of the Board of Progressive States Network. "By pressing forward with a partisan lawsuit that is clearly at odds with the framers’ vision of the Constitution, opponents are attempting to derail it without any concern for what that means for the health security of families - millions of whom have already benefited from the provisions of the law, and millions more of whom stand to benefit from the choice and competition that states will be able to provide in the new marketplaces. This group of bold legislators is joining together to say that this partisan lawsuit should be rejected, and that we need to move forward in all of our states to improve the health security of families."

The text of the brief describes the January decision by U.S. DistrictJudge Roger Vinson ruling the law unconstitutional as being “based on afundamentally flawed vision of the constitutional role of our federal government and its partnership with the States - a vision that contradicts the original meaning of our Founding charter."

Read the full Friend of the Court brief here.


Progressive States Network ( a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the passage of state legislation that delivers on issues the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom,balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide.