February 14, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that he submitted two amicus briefs in the cases pending before the United States Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act, challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision and supporting severability of that provision from the rest of the Act.
Koster’s position reaffirms his stance taken before the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in the same case. While 37 states filed briefs before that court, only Missouri’s position was consistent with the 11th Circuit’s decision that the individual mandate is unconstitutional but the rest of the law should be allowed to stand.
“This has been a challenging decision, but ultimately one that must be decided on the law alone,” Koster said. “I do not believe the Commerce Clause can be used by Congress to force consumers into a market unwillingly.”
The cases are Department of Health and Human Services, et al., v. State of Florida, et al., No. 11-398; National Federation of Independent Business, et al., v. Sebelius, et al., No. 11-393; and State of Florida, et al., v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 11-400.
The state submitted the briefs last week.