2012 News Releases

Kansas files four Supreme Court briefs in health care litigation

Release Date: Feb 07, 2012

TOPEKA – (February 7, 2012) – Kansas and its 25 state partners have finished filing their initial briefs in the landmark lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

The states filed their final two briefs yesterday outlining their objections to the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act and disputing the applicability of the anti-injunction act to the states’ legal challenge. The states in January filed two other briefs outlining the states’ objections to the new federal law’s mandatory expansion of state Medicaid programs and addressing the issue of severability if part, but not all, of the federal law is held unconstitutional.

“After almost 225 years of constitutional history, this litigation presents several issues of first impression for the United States Supreme Court,” said Schmidt, who signed all four briefs on behalf of the State of Kansas. “The issues raised go to the heart of our federal system and Constitution’s establishment of a federal government with only limited and enumerated powers. At its core, this historic litigation is about establishing whether any enforceable constitutional limits remain on the size, scope and ultimately cost of the federal government.”

The case marks the first time in American history that a majority of the states have joined together in filing suit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of a federal law. The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the case this term and has scheduled an unprecedented 5 ½ hours of oral arguments.

The parties are now in the process of filing their responses to the briefs of the other parties. The final briefs in the case will be filed by March 13, with oral arguments scheduled to begin on March 26. A decision is expected by the end of June.

Last year, a federal district court in Florida ruled in favor of the states, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed that at least part of the federal health care law is unconstitutional. That decision is now on appeal to the Supreme Court. The case is State of Florida, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. Copies of the briefs filed in the case are available online at http://ag.ks.gov/healthcare

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News releases issued prior to 2011 are available through an archive hosted by the Kansas State Library.