- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Lawyers, on behalf of GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, have filed a brief in support of a lawsuit that argues Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that all tax bills originate in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“[W]hile it may seem odd that sitting Senators would speak out in support of enforcing restrictions on the authority of their own chamber to initiate bills for raising revenues, their duty is first and foremost to ‘support and defend the Constitution,’ not to aggrandize power for themselves and their Senate colleagues,” lawyers said in the paperwork filed Tuesday.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia had ruled over the summer that the Obamacare tax was “incidental” to the primary purpose of the Affordable Care Act, so it isn’t a revenue-raising measure as envisioned by the Constitution.

The origination issue had been in doubt after the Supreme Court’s decision two years ago saying that while the law’s individual mandate wasn’t allowed under Congress’s powers to control interstate commerce, it was a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power.

Since the key language of Obamacare came from the Senate, some opponents then said it violated the “origination” requirement in the Constitution that revenue-raising measures begin in the House.

The two senators requested a rehearing by the full appellate court.

“In this case, with an exclusive reliance on the taxing power, the shared responsibility penalty was constitutionally justified solely as a revenue-raising tax,” lawyers argued. “Congress may exact money for a variety of constitutional ends, but when it attempts to achieve those ends by using its power to tax the people, such a measure is a bill for raising revenue that must originate in the House.”

Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican, and 42 other members of the House also pushed for a rehearing of the case by the full court in documents filed Tuesday.

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