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Liberty Counsel files health care reform bill lawsuit

March 22, 2010 : University Advancement staff

Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of Liberty University Tuesday as President Barack Obama signed the national health care reform bill.

The suit argues against the constitutionality of the bill and elevates the concerns of private citizens, private nonprofit and for-profit businesses and organizations, and religious institutions, many of which join Liberty as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

"Congress does not have unlimited authority to regulate private actions,” Mathew Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law, said in a news release on Monday. “If the Constitution does not give Congress the power to act, then Congress cannot act. Congress clearly lacks the constitutional authority to force individuals to have, or private businesses to provide, health insurance.”

Staver highlights that the Taxing and Spending Clause and the Commerce Clause are the only primary provisions of the Constitution that allow Congress the power of taxation and control over commerce. These provisions, however, do not allow for Congress control in such a case as the pending health care bill, which imposes requirements on individuals and private employers who refuse to follow the bill’s mandate.

"If Congress had the power to force each person to have health insurance, then individual liberty would be meaningless,” said Staver. “If Congress can get away with this expansive power grab, then individual liberty and state sovereignty will vanish.”

The bill was passed by Congress in a historic vote on Sunday and has spurred plans of lawsuits from state lawmakers and attorney generals around the country, including Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. 


Liberty Counsel is a nationwide public interest religious civil liberties law firm dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the family.