State seal of the State of Vermont
The State of Vermont
The Office of the Attorney General




Home » Press Releases

Press Releases

Vermont Files U.S. Supreme Court Brief In Support Of Constitutionality Of Health Care Reform

CONTACT: Bridget Asay, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5500

January 17, 2012

Attorney General William H. Sorrell has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of federal health care reform and urging the high court to uphold the landmark law.

“Vermont has a very real interest in seeing the Affordable Care Act upheld by the Supreme Court. Although some perceive the Act as an example of the federal government imposing its will on the States, it actually gives the States much flexibility in the provision of quality health care for all. The Act is a prime example of federalism at work,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

In August 2011, a divided United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage provision, which requires that individuals maintain adequate health insurance, is unconstitutional. The United States government appealed that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments in the matter in March 2012.

This past Friday, Vermont joined several other states in filing a brief that urges the Supreme Court to uphold the Act. The brief stresses that health care is a major part of the national economy, and that the federal government already plays a critical role in paying for and providing health care. The Act is both a constitutional exercise of Congress’s broad powers to regulate interstate commerce and an indispensable aid to the states in their own efforts to tackle the health care problems their residents face.

Also joining Vermont in this brief are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands.

A copy of the brief may be found by clicking here.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.