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04/27/2015

New Origination Clause Decision
Andrew Hyman

This is an interesting decision about the Origination Clause and standing, especially the last paragraph on page 25:

We recognize that the underlying merits of this appeal present issues of exceptional importance. Although the Origination Clause is rarely litigated, the principle it embodies—that “power over the purse” should be held by the most “immediate representatives of the people,” see The Federalist No. 58, at 350 (James Madison) (Isaac Kramnick ed., 1987)—was critical to the Framers and ratifiers of the Constitution. Furthermore, the statute before us is, of course, a statute of great and wide-ranging importance: it represents a “comprehensive scheme to reform the national markets in health care delivery and health insurance,” Thomas More Law Ctr., 651 F.3d at 534, one that “encompass[es] nine Titles and hundreds of laws on a diverse array of subjects.” Florida, 648 F.3d at 1241.

But the court concludes:

Nonetheless, it is axiomatic that, no matter how important the issue, see, e.g., Raines, 811 U.S. at 819–20, “[f]ederal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction” and “possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). Here, as we have explained, constitutional and statutory limits combine to prevent our exercising jurisdiction over these plaintiffs’ challenges. The Constitution’s standing requirement bars Dr. Hotze’s challenge to the individual mandate, primarily because the plaintiffs’ complaint provides no reason to conclude that Dr. Hotze’s circumstances do not fully comply with that mandate; consequently, he has not shown an injury to himself resulting from the ACA’s enactment. And a statute with a well-established history—the AIA—bars Braidwood’s challenge to the employer mandate, because the exaction imposed by the employer mandate constitutes a “tax” under the AIA, which may not be challenged through pre-enforcement suit. 26 U.S.C. § 7421(a).