Health care law upheld by federal judge in Detroit

Oct 7, 2010

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that U.S. District Judge George Steeh refused to issue a preliminary injunction to stop "preparations for putting federal health reforms into full effect in 2014. He also dismissed the key points of the suit — requiring Americans to buy health insurance and penalizing those who don’t starting in 2014."

The lawsuit against the heath care law was brought by the Ann Arbor based Thomas More Law Center. The not-for-profit center professes to be the "sword and shield for people of faith," saying "it supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America."

In a report for USA Today and Kaiser Health News Rick Schmidtt reports that the Michigan lawsuit is one of many challenging the constitionality of the health care law. Other lawsuits have been brought in Virginia and Florida, and Attorneys General from several states have joined a lawsuit against the federal government, including Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox.

From Schmitt's report:

"'The Supreme Court has never said Congress has the power to make you engage in economic activity," such as buying insurance, says Randy Barnett, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington. States can require citizens to buy auto insurance or fire insurance for their homes — but that's because they have broad police powers under the Constitution that Congress does not have, he says."

The federal judge in Michigan, according to the Free Press, is the first to rule on these lawsuits.