California Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit seeking to aid the defense of President Barack Obama's landmark health care legislation.
The so-called Affordable Care Act, perhaps Obama's most significant legislative victory since he took over the White House, is under attack as a result of a lawsuit filed to challenge it in Florida. A federal judge in that state ruled in January that the law is unconstitutional because it forces people to obtain a minimum level of health insurance.
"Not only is the minimum coverage provision necessary to carry out Congress' goals of lowering the costs of medical care and expanding insurance coverage, it is a proper exercise of federal authority that does not alter the essential attributes of state sovereignty," Harris' friend-of-the-court brief states.
The amicus brief was filed along with nine other state attorneys general, including those in Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Vermont. The primary responsibility for defending the law's constitutionality lies with the U.S. Department of Justice.
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