Judge says Affordable Care Act does not violate religious freedom
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm
A federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled today that Obama’s health care plan, the Affordable Care Act, does not violate the plaintiff’s freedom of religion.
Plaintiff’s had argued that they did not need insurance because they relied on God to protect them.
A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit claiming that President Barack Obama’s requirement that all Americans have health insurance violates the religious freedom of those who rely on God to protect them.
U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler in Washington dismissed a lawsuit filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans who can afford health insurance but have chosen for years not to buy it.
The case was one of several lawsuits filed against Obama’s requirement that Americans either buy health insurance or pay a penalty, beginning in 2014. Kessler is the third Democratic-appointed judge to dismiss a challenge, while two Republican-appointed judges have ruled part or all of the law unconstitutional. Kessler wrote that the Supreme Court will need to settle the constitutional issues.
Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman with the Department of Justice issued the following statement:
“We welcome this ruling, which marks the third time a court has reviewed the Affordable Care Act on the merits and upheld it as constitutional. This court found — as two others have previously — that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable measure for Congress to take in reforming our health care system. At the same time, trial courts in additional cases have dismissed numerous challenges to this law on jurisdictional and other grounds. The Department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation.”