A United States District Judge on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit designed to dismantle the nation’s new health care law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) – ruling in favor of the Petitioners.

The lawsuit, a class-action filed by attorney and state senator Chris McDaniel on behalf of Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant and other Mississippians, contends that the federal government does not have the authority to mandate American citizens to purchase insurance simply as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.

Judge Keith Starrett, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, ruled against Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department in finding that the Mississippi Petitioners do have standing to contest the new law’s individual mandate.
The decision reaffirmed the right of citizens to challenge federal government overreaching by using the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution.

When asked about the ruling, McDaniel replied, “We are very pleased with the Court’s decision. A mandate forcing American citizens to enter a contract with another private entity, including an insurance company, is unconstitutional. Congress does not have the unlimited power to regulate, prohibit, or mandate any or all activities in the United States. Such a doctrine would abolish any limit on federal power and alter the fundamental relationship of the national government to the states and the people. For the sake of our republic, the constitutional limits imposed on the federal government must stand for something.”

Not only did the Court find the petitioners had standing to proceed under their Constitutional claims, but it also specifically found that they could bring a legal challenge pursuant to a violation of medical privacy, making it the first case in the nation willing to consider such a position.

In so doing, the ruling validates Petitioners’ privacy rights arguments that the individual mandate unconstitutionally requires that citizens surrender private information to private insurance companies, as the Court put it, “under threat of government action for non-compliance.”

Attorney Doug Lee from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, co-counsel on the case, noted, “This ruling is a major victory in our citizens’ fight against the biggest federal power-grab in our history, and is the second major blow to Obamacare in less than three weeks. Though Senator McDaniel and I have more work to complete, this is a ruling of major national significance in a case that depends entirely on the involvement of concerned citizens who are petitioning the government for a redress of their grievances. Mississippians can all be proud that we are leading the way in addressing the most important constitutional issues of our time.”

Senator Chris McDaniel
8/30/11