Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder today announced the filing of a new motion in his constitutional challenge to the federal healthcare law, which is awaiting a ruling by the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In July 2010, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, along with several Missouri residents, filed a constitutional challenge to the federal healthcare law and its individual mandate.
Since then, 21 states filed a brief with the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals supporting Kinder's lawsuit. Also, more than 150 elected executive and legislative officials of states within the Eighth Circuit filed a brief asking the appeals court to hold the individual mandate unconstitutional.
Following the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the healthcare law in a separate constitutional challenge, the Eighth Circuit issued an order directing Kinder and the U.S. Department of Justice to file supplemental briefings to address how the Supreme Court's ruling affects their arguments and the Kinder case in the Court of Appeals.
"Today we act to continue the fight against Obamacare for Missourians," Kinder said. "This will be the first time a federal court of appeals will have an opportunity to apply the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare, and this would be the first case to clarify how and what parts of the Supreme Court decision applies to Missourians."
Kinder said his goal with the new motion is to validate the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act with the court's affirming the Missouri law is constitutional and not in conflict with federal law.
"Missourians overwhelmingly voted to bar federal or state government from forcing individuals or businesses to participate in any healthcare system," Kinder said. "We believe Missourians are subject to the protections of the Missouri Health Care Freedom Act, providing that "no law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in any health care system.'"
Kinder said the briefing also contends individuals with limited income, such as students, single mothers and the working poor, should be exempt from the tax or penalty imposed by Obamacare.
"Thirdly, we want to ensure individuals are not required to carry insurance policies that they have moral objection to such as abortion or contraception," he added.
Last October, the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case and stayed its decision until the Supreme Court issued a decision in the Florida case, Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sebelius. In June, the Supreme Court in Sebelius upheld the individual mandate as constitutional under Congress' taxing power. Kinder v. Geithner is the first time a federal court of appeals will apply the Supreme Court's ruling in Sebelius.