Press Release

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Begins Hearing Oral Arguments on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare

11th Circuit Court of Appeals Begins Hearing Oral Arguments on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 8, 2011) – Today the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will begin hearing oral arguments in the case State of Florida and National Federation of Independent Business v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the only state legislative organization to file an amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) brief and is hopeful the 11th Circuit Court will affirm the decision of the lower court.

“ALEC’s brief outlines the legal arguments against Obamacare, relying strongly on constitutional logic and case precedents,” said Christie Herrera, director of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force. “We are looking forward to the court’s ruling on this decision.”

ALEC’s brief represents members and their citizens in the 50 states, in support of Plaintiffs-Appellees.  This landmark constitutional case filed by the Florida Attorney General’s office will decide if provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are in fact unconstitutional.  ALEC’s Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act provided, in part, the legal standing for several of the plaintiff states to pursue this action.

ACA’s individual mandate is incompatible with ALEC’s state-level efforts to reform health care and secure broader coverage through market-driven, cost-effective measures that preserve individual liberty and state sovereignty.  ALEC and its members believe that such a theory of congressional authority is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution’s enumeration of federal powers, and will have profound effects on the relationship between the federal government and the states.

The brief states, “Two longstanding principles are that the Commerce Clause must not be construed so broadly as to ‘obliterate the distinction between what is national and what is local,’ Lopez, 514 U.S. at 557 (quoting NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., 310 U.S. 1, 37 (1937)), and that the Constitution reserves to the States, and denies the federal Government, a general police power. These constraints apply with particular force in areas where States have historically possessed primary regulatory authority.”

A full copy of the brief can be found at


The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with nearly 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress. ALEC’s mission is to promote free markets, individual liberty, and federalism through its model legislation in the states.