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Progress Ohio: Progressive Legislators Defend Constitutionality Of Health Law In U.S. Court Of Appeals

Dave Harding, Progress Ohio, April 11, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH -- Six Progressive Ohio Legislators have joined over 150 lawmakers from 26 states, organized by the Progressive States Network, 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 U.S. Constitution, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, would have supported the constitutionality of the law.   

In a "Friend of the Court" brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Six Ohio Legislators joined 148 state legislators from across the nation in standing against the right-wing Attorney Generals and Governors including Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, who have spent the past year playing politics with the health security of Ohio families by pressing forward with a partisan lawsuit at odds with the framers' vision of the Constitution.  

Ohio Legislators signing onto the "Friend of the Court" Brief include Senators Michael J. Skindell (D-Cleveland) and Charleta Tavares (D-Columbus), as well as Representatives Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood), Mike Foley (D-Cleveland), Ted Celeste (D-Grandview), and Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown).  

"There is no question that the framers of the Constitution would have viewed the health law as constitutional, and I have confidence that the courts will ultimately agree with their vision," said Representative Nickie Antonio. "So many Ohio families have benefitted from the provisions of the health law that have already taken effect, and so many more stand to benefit from the choice and competition promised by the marketplaces set to go into effect in 2014. Now is not the time to go backward as those behind this lawsuit desire -- it is time to strengthen the law in a way that works for Ohio families."   

The text of the brief describes the January decision by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruling the law unconstitutional as "based on a fundamentally 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."