The U.S. Supreme Court has given at least a few more weeks of life to a challenge to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
Liberty University and other PPACA opponents are still trying to persuade the court to take up the case, Liberty University et al. vs. Geithner et al. (Number 11-438).
The court announced Monday that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other PPACA defenders must respond to Liberty University’s request for a rehearing by Oct. 31.
Liberty University, a private university in Lynchburg, Va., and two of the university employees sued to try to overturn PPACA in a U.S. District Court in Lynchburg in 2010. The plaintiffs are objecting to a PPACA provision that imposes a tax on individuals who fail to buy a minimum amount of health coverage. The university and its employees also object to a “shared responsibility” provision that requires employers with more than 50 full-time employees to provide health benefits or else pay a penalty.
The Taxing and Spending Clause “only grants Congress the power to impose taxes upon certain purchases, not to impose taxes upon citizens who choose not to purchase something such as health insurance,” the plaintiffs have argued.
The individual mandate, in particular, assesses “a direct tax that is not apportioned according to census data or other population-based measurement,” in violation of Congress’s taxing power, the plaintiffs have argued.
A Lynchburg judge ruled against the plaintiffs in November 2010.