Fighting to preserve individual liberty through strategic litigation
"Amicus curiae briefs provide an important opportunity - indeed, often the only opportunity - for non-parties to participate in appeals that may affect their interests in some way. If done well, amicus briefs can be highly influential."
Bruce J. Ennis,
Effective Amicus Briefs,
33 Cath. U. L. Rev. 603,
603 (Spring 1984).
The Liberty Committee files legal briefs that can further our mission to preserve and defend individual liberty. A person or group who is not a party to a lawsuit, but has a strong interest in the matter, can petition the court for permission to submit a friend of the court brief (amicus curiae) in the action with the intent of influencing the court's decision. Our recent briefs oppose the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (a.k.a. "Obamacare") specifically challenging the constitutionality of its mandate that an individual purchase its approved healthcare insurance.
"Our firm" in the following descriptions refers to the firm William J. Olson, P.C., Attorneys At Law. To read the entire brief, click on the title.
Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al. (Obamacare), in the U.S. Supreme Court
February 13, 2012
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Dept. of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al. (Obamacare) in the United States Supreme Court in support of respondents (minimum coverage provision). The brief asked the Court to overturn two of its most extreme, and controversial, Commerce Clause holdings:
"The Government believes that this law is fully justified under this Courtís Commerce Clause jurisprudence, particularly relying on United States v. Darby and Wickard v. Filburn. These revolutionary Supreme Court decisions cast aside settled constitutional doctrine for reasons of political expediency in the wake of President Franklin D. Rooseveltís threat to pack the Court. The time has come that they should be re-examined and overturned, lest Congress conclude that it can compel whatever behavior it believes would make us a more healthy People ó leading us to a totalitarian state where everything not prohibited is mandated."
[Read a more detailed presentation of the constitutional argument by Bill Olson and Herb Titus.]
Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief in the U.S. Supreme Court
November 3, 2011
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius in the United States Supreme Court in support of petitioner. This petition presents to the Supreme Court a clash between a federal law mandating the individual purchase of its approved healthcare insurance -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("PPACA") -- and a state law securing to state residents the freedom to choose whether or not to purchase such insurance -- the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act ("VHCFA").
Our amicus brief filed on behalf of Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, et al. argues that the Supreme Court should grant the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for the following reasons.
First, the court of appeals decision lacks respect for the principles of federalism upon which our nation is based. According to the court of appeals, no one may challenge the constitutionality of PPACA's individual mandate. The court of appeals demonstrated a lack of respect for the VHCFA, Virginia's elected officials, and Virginia's constitutional challenge. Virginia's challenge to PPACA's individual mandate is fully consistent with the principles of federalism.
Finally, the court of appeals ruling that Virginia has no standing conflicts with the Supreme Court's decision in Bond v. United States. As a sovereign state, Virginia has standing to protect both the liberties of its people and its prerogatives and responsibilities reserved by the Tenth Amendment.
Virginia v. Sebelius, Amicus Brief
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
April 4, 2011
Today our firm filed an amicus brief in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Our amicus brief supports the Commonwealth of Virginia's challenge to the minimum coverage provision of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" ("PPACA") arguing 1) Virginia has standing to bring this action, 2) the individual mandate cannot be justified as a constitutional exercise of Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce, and 3) PPACA constitutes federal take-over of health and medicine in violation of the power of the states and of the people secured by the Tenth Amendment.