U.S. Citizens Association Moving Forward
By Hadley Heath
The pattern in most of the health care lawsuits goes like this: 1) Plaintiffs file a complaint, then 2) the federal government (the Defendant) files a Motion to Dismiss the case. So far, at least 14 of the cases have faced or are currently facing a Motion to Dismiss.
The federal government keeps filing these motions in hopes that the cases won’t have standing, or won’t be ripe, or (best scenario for them) don’t bring forward a legitimate constitutional challenge. But so far they haven’t had much luck. Let’s tally the score on dismissals:
Round One: The Baldwin Case. No one was paying much attention yet, but this case in California got dismissed early. Defendants: 1
Round Two: Virginia. Ken Cuccinelli and the Commonwealth survive. Plaintiffs: 1
Round Three: Thomas More. The law center et al didn’t get their entire case dismissed. But the individual mandate claim was thrown out, which really hurt. Defendants: 2 (But look for the appeal!)
Round Four: Florida (and friends). Judge Vinson effectively compared Obama to Alice in Wonderland. Plaintiffs: 2
Round Five: The Shreeve Case. This not-much-talked-about suit in Tennessee got dismissed. Defendants: 3 (But again, the Plaintiffs plan to refile in a different court.)
And now, just recently, Round Six goes to the Plaintiffs. The U.S. Citizens Association (U.S.C.A) in Ohio moves forward. Plaintiffs: 3
Maybe we could call it a tie at this point; it looks like Plaintiffs are batting .500. But let’s not overlook who the successful Plaintiffs have been – in total 21 states, the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business), and now the U.S. Citizens Association. And it’s unlikely that the dismissed cases will just “go away.” Either way, Judge Dowd (who wrote the most recent opinion in the U.S.C.A. case) acknowledged that the health care lawsuits all face a long road with the same destination: the Supreme Court. From the Hill:
"It is apparent to the undersigned that the controversy ignited by the passage of the legislation at issue in this case will eventually require a decision by the Supreme Court after the above-described litigation works its way through the various circuit courts," Dowd wrote. "Against that background, this Court does not intend to write a lengthy opinion with respect to the defendants' motion to dismiss because the Court's decision will, in all likelihood, be without relevance by the time this case reaches the Supreme Court."
Most importantly, while keeping score is kind of fun, we should keep in mind that even if 20-something cases end up dismissed and only one case wins in the Supreme Court, then all the Plaintiffs will have been successful, and all of the U.S. will be better off. The more cases that bring attention to the unconstitutional provisions of ObamaCare, the better. But in the end, it only takes one case to void it all!