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Florida Lawsuit Argues Mandate Delay Exceeds Obama Administration’s Statutory Authority and is Arbitrary, Capricious, Contrary to Law, and Otherwise Unlawful. 

Seeks an Injunction Prohibiting Employer Mandate Delay

 (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics against the U.S. Department of Treasury, Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew, the Internal Revenue Service and IRS Acting Director Daniel Werfel challenging the Obama administration’s decision to delay the enactment of the so-called “employer mandate” provision of the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare (Kawa Orthodontics, LLP vs. Jack Lew, et al., (No. 9:13-cv-80990)).

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The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of Boca Raton based employer Kawa Orthodontics LLP, argues that the delay of the employer mandate “exceeded [the Obama administration’s] statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law, and is otherwise unlawful.”

The employer mandate, which subjects certain large employers to tax penalties if they do not offer “affordable,” “minimum essential” health insurance coverage to their employees, is “one of the pillars” of Obamacare.  By law, the mandate was required to take effect January 1, 2014.  On July 2, 2013, however, the Obama administration officially postponed the mandate, causing Kawa Orthodontics to lose the value of its substantial efforts to prepare for the controversial provision taking effect beginning next year:

“[Kawa Orthodontics] expended substantial time and resources, including money spent on legal fees and other costs, in preparation for the ‘employer mandate’ taking effect on January 1, 2014….[The company] would not have expended its time and resources and incurred these anticipatory costs in 2013 if the mandate had not been scheduled to take effect until 2015, but instead would have spent its time, resources, and money on other priorities.”

Kawa Orthodontics is owned by orthodontist Larry Kawa, a longtime Florida resident and hardworking American community business leader.  It employs more than 70 full-time employees in Florida.

The complaint alleges that the decision to delay the employer mandate violates the Administrative Procedure Act, which forbids “agency action” that exceeds an agency’s statutory authority, is arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.  The complaint asks the court to enter a judgment declaring the delay to be unlawful and an injunction prohibiting the delay.

“We obviously object to the employer mandate and the entire Obamacare law, but we understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.  President Obama would delay the damage of his health care scheme until after the 2014 congressional elections.  But politics do not trump the Constitution or the rule of law,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  “And to paraphrase Ulysses S. Grant, the best way to ensure the repeal of a bad law is to enforce it vigorously.”

“I am tired of Washington, DC, picking winners and losers and giving preferential treatment to those inside the Beltway.  This is just more of DC career politicians protecting their own,” said Dr. Larry Kawa of Kawa Orthodontics.

According to the Obama White House’s website, at least 200,000 employers in the U.S. employ more than 50 employees and will be impacted by the decision to delay the employer mandate.

Watch the press conference below:

Obama DOD: Mainstream Conservative Views “Extremist”

Did you ever think there would come a day in this country when the federal government would compare a person speaking about “individual liberties” to a member of the Klu Klux Klan? Unfortunately, such is the state of affairs in Obama’s America.

Judicial Watch recently obtained “educational” materials from the Department of Defense (DOD) depicting conservative organizations as “hate groups” and advising students to be aware that “instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”

The documents repeatedly cite the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource for identifying “hate groups.”  (More on this contemptible group here.)

Pursuant to our original Freedom of Information (FOIA) request, filed on April 8, 2013, JW sought from DOD:  “Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force.”

And here’s what we have received so far: 133 pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides provided by the U.S. Air Force.  Included in these documents is a January 2013 Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute “student guide” entitled “Extremism.”  The document is marked “for training purposes only” with the instruction “do not use on the job.”  Highlights include:

  • The document defines extremists as “a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights.”

 

  • A statement that “Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”

 

  • [W]hile not all extremist groups are hate groups, all hate groups are extremist groups.”

 

  • Under a section labeled “Extremist Ideologies” the document states, “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements.  The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”

 

  • In this same section, the document lists the 9/11 attack under a category of “Historical events.”

 

  • [A]ctive participationwith regard to extremist organizations is incompatible with military service and, is therefore prohibited.” [Emphasis in original]

 

  • The document details the “seven stages of hate” and sixteen “extremists’ traits.”

 

  • The SPLC is listed as a resource for information on hate groups and referenced several times throughout the guide.

 

  • Of the five organizations besides the SPLC listed as resources, one is an SPLC project (Teaching Tolerance) and one considers any politically or socially conservative movement to be a potential hate group (Political Research Associates).

 

  • Other than a mention of 9/11 and the Sudan, there is no discussion of Islamic extremism.

In April 2013, following a terrorist shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters that occurred in August 2012, Judicial Watch filed multiple FOIA requests to determine what, if any, influence SPLC’s branding of hate groups had on government agencies.

On its website, the SPLC has depicted FRC as a “hate group,” along with other such mainstream conservative organizations as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries. At the time of the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the shooting, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Though the document released by Judicial Watch was obtained from the Air Force, it originated in the Pentagon, and is likely to have been used throughout the military.

After all, the language used by the DOD to characterize conservative Americans is eerily similar to descriptions used by the Internal Revenue Service to target “Tea Party” and conservative organizations, slamming these groups with unnecessary audits, releasing their confidential financial information and stonewalling the tax-exempt applications of organizations deemed hostile to the president’s Big Government agenda.

The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism. And now, in a document full of claptrap, its DOD suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military.

After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces. And for our national security in general!

Consider this. At a time when the FBI is purging its training materials and organizational vocabulary of any term that might offend radical Islam – say, for example, the term “radical Islam” – the federal government has no problem tagging American citizens who believe in traditional American values with labels like “extremist” and “hateful.”

Make no mistake. The ramifications of these types of activities go far beyond hurt feelings. The Obama administration labels conservatives “extremists” to delegitimize opposition to its radical socialism and to justify government oppression against them. (See IRS.) And the Obama administration’s refusal to plainly identify and focus on radical elements within Islam demonstrates a willingness to overlook real threats to our security in the name of political correctness.

Department of Justice Sues Texas over Voter ID Law

Well that didn’t take long.  A little more than 60 days after the United States Supreme Court invalidated a key portion of the Voting Rights Act that required certain jurisdictions to obtain “pre-clearance” from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before enacting changes to election laws, Attorney General Eric Holder filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas over its voter ID law.

As reported by Politico:

Attorney General Eric Holder will sue to challenge the Texas voter ID law, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

The Justice lawsuit will allege that the Texas law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, which was among the elements of the law that remains in effect after the Supreme Court invalidated the preclearance requirements in June.

Justice will also seek to intervene in a separate lawsuit against Texas over the state’s redistricting laws, arguing that the state should still be forced to submit to federal preclearance.

“Today’s action marks another step forward in the Justice Department’s continuing effort to protect the voting rights of all eligible Americans,” Holder said. “We will not allow the Supreme Court’s recent decision to be interpreted as open season for states to pursue measures that suppress voting rights.”

For the attorney general to use the phrase “eligible Americans” to describe the people the DOJ intends to protect is simply laughable. Voter ID laws have only one purpose: To make certain that every vote cast is legitimate. The purpose of the DOJ lawsuit is political.  Liberals, specifically the Obama campaign organization, is focusing on turning Texas “blue” or Democratic.  And to the degree that liberals rely on illicit votes to get elected, voter ID is a hindrance to their plans.  Hence, the new lawsuit from politician Holder.

(We saw this playbook in action in 2012.  Click here for more on the DOJ’s scheme to try to steal elections for liberal candidates, including the president himself, and JW’s legal counter-campaign.)

Texas Governor Rick Perry labeled the DOJ’s lawsuit “an end run” around the Supreme Court. That sounds about right. Barack Obama and Eric Holder have rarely allowed the Constitution or the rule of law to obstruct their plans. So they are certainly not going to let a Supreme Court ruling stand in their way.

Our friends over at Pajamas Media, former Justice Department officials and election integrity experts J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky, have done a great job tearing apart the government’s legal arguments. (You can check out their analysis here.)

J. Christian Adams has characterized the government’s complaint as the work of “a progressive snake oil salesman,” noting that Holder has populated the DOJ’s Voting Rights division with attorneys that have “streaks of radicalism.” Click here for his full report compiled by Pajamas demonstrating how Holder has so egregiously politicized this Justice Department.

With respect to the federal government’s case against Texas, Hans Von Spakovsky, now with The Heritage Foundation, maintains that the Holder DOJ is engaging in a little fuzzy math to “distract” the public and, presumably, the courts. For example: citing minority population statistics that include convicted felons, illegal aliens, and individuals who are explicitly prohibited from voting, in order to beef up the numbers of people who the government claims could be “disenfranchised” by the Texas voter ID law.

Hans also points out that the DOJ justifies its lawsuit based upon examples of discrimination dating back to 1927. He closes with this recommendation for Texas public officials: “Texas needs to fight this case the same way South Carolina fought Justice over its voter-ID law — and won.”

Folks, this is a legal battle that can be won and must be won if we are to protect the integrity of our electoral process. As you know, Judicial Watch has been fully engaged in this epic battle, supporting voter integrity measures in states across the country, including Florida, Indiana, Pennsylvania and, yes, South Carolina. You can be sure we will be active in Texas as well.

If our nation’s Department of Justice won’t stand for the rule of law, JW will step up to the plate.

Judicial Watch Considers Obamacare Challenge

How bad is Obamacare? In July, President Obama himself unilaterally rewrote the law. Why?  Businesses started cutting hours, slashing benefits and reducing staff to avoid paying hefty $3,000 per-employee penalty/fine/tax – whatever you want to call it – mandated by Obamacare.

And what did the Obama administration do? It simply announced that the employer mandate, scheduled to go into effect in January 2014, would be delayed one year.

“We have listened to your feedback,” Treasury official Mark Mazur said on July 2, announcing the delay in the implementation of the employer mandate, “and we are taking action.”

Is anyone buying the claim that the Obama administration’s move was in response to listening to feedback from American business?  Didn’t think so.

This is about politics. Hardest hit by the resulting job cuts were low-wage employees, a key voter demographic for Democrats. Remember, we’re heading into mid-term election season. The last thing the president needs is for his loyal base to abandon the Democrats’ cause at a time when he cannot afford to lose seats in Congress.

But regardless of the president’s reasons, the key question is this: Does he have the authority?

Per The New York Times, “Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and an author of the health law, questioned whether Mr. Obama had the authority to unilaterally delay the employer mandate. ‘This was the law. How can they change the law?’” he asked.

How indeed?

There is no provision in the law allowing for a delay. And, as pointed out by former judge Michael McConnell in the Wall Street Journal, who compared the president to King James II, Obama cannot simply refuse to enforce laws he doesn’t like (no matter the reason).

McConnell makes two key points on the matter:

  • “Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution states that the president ‘shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’ This is a duty, not a discretionary power. While the president does have substantial discretion about how to enforce a law, he has no discretion about whether to do so.

 

  • The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, which advises the president on legal and constitutional issues, has repeatedly opined that the president may decline to enforce laws he believes are unconstitutional. But these opinions have always insisted that the president has no authority, as one such memo put it in 1990, to “refuse to enforce a statute he opposes for policy reasons.”

(Obviously the president’s position on the employer mandate is not constitutionally based. His administration successfully defended his law’s constitutionality to the Supreme Court.)

While delaying the employer mandate, the president did not rewrite the law to delay the “individual mandate,” which requires nearly all Americans to have Obama-approved health insurance by that same date or pay a tax penalty.

As a result, many Americans are caught in the middle.  They are obligated to have Obama-approved health insurance, but their employers are not obligated to provide it, at least for another year.  As a result, these Americans will be forced to purchase Obama-approved health insurance on an Obamacare-created health insurance exchange or pay the tax penalty. Either way, they’re out-of-pocket.

As you well know, Judicial Watch objects to the employer mandate, the individual mandate, and the entire Obamacare law. In fact, JW filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court making the argument that the mandate to purchase health insurance is flagrantly unconstitutional.

We also understand that, under the U.S. Constitution, the law can only be changed by legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.  President Obama evidently wants to delay at least some of the ill effects of his health care scheme until after the 2014 congressional elections.  But politics do not trump the Constitution or the rule of law.

For this reason, we are seeking to mount a challenge to Obamacare based on the president’s attempts to rewrite the law. And you might be personally able to join in this legal effort.

If you are going to have to purchase Obama-approved health insurance (which would have been covered by the employer mandate) through an Obamacare-created health insurance exchange or pay a tax penalty because your employer is dropping or does not provide health insurance, you may have a claim to challenge President Obama’s unilateral rewriting of the law.

If you think your circumstances fit the bill and you would be interested in being a plaintiff in a challenge to Obama’s unconstitutional power grab, then please contact us by replying to this email address: [ obamacarechallenge@judicialwatch.org ]. And please feel free to share this email with others you think might also have a claim as described here.

President Obama has repeatedly defied the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law to pave the way for his Big Government agenda. This is one action we can take together to stop him. Please consider joining JW’s cause if you are eligible. And I’ll be sure to update you on the progress of our legal efforts in this space.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

Until next week…

Tom Fitton

JW Sues Obama State Department for Benghazi Talking Points

This week a group of Special Operations veterans unfurled a 60-foot petition on the steps of the U.S. Capitol demanding answers on the Benghazi cover-up.  These heroes face a significant stone wall erected by the Obama administration to keep secret the truth behind the Benghazi attacks, which resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

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Judicial Watch is once again forced to go to court to hold the Obama administration’s feet to the fire over what is one of the most serious scandals and cover-ups in recent memory.

On June 21, 2013, we filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Obama Department of State. We are trying to obtain the “updates and/or talking points” given to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice concerning the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Specifically, pursuant to an October 18, 2012, FOIA request filed with the State Department, these are the records we want:

  • Copies of any updates and/or talking points given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency concerning, regarding, or related to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
  • Any and all records or communications concerning, regarding, or related to the talking points or updates on the Benghazi attack given to Ambassador Rice by the White House or any federal agency.

Once again, answers are in short supply. The State Department acknowledged receiving our FOIA request on October 26, 2012, and was required by law to respond within 20 working days. As of the date of JW’s lawsuit, however, the department has failed to produce a single record responsive to the request. State has also failed to indicate when any responsive records will be produced, or demonstrate that responsive records are exempt from production.

Here’s why these records are so vital.

Following the Benghazi attack, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Rice joined Hillary Clinton in a high-profile campaign to portray the attack as solely related to a privately produced YouTube video that Muslims reportedly found offensive. On the Sunday following the attack, Rice went on five TV talk shows, repeatedly claiming that the attack was “a spontaneous – not a premeditated response” to “a hateful video that was disseminated on the Internet.”

Shortly thereafter, on the eve of a congressional hearing, the Obama administration was forced to admit that Rice and others had provided false information, and that the attack was neither spontaneous nor the result of an Internet video.

On September 28, 2012, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence reported that their “revised” assessment had determined the attack to be “a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists” and that “some of those involved were linked to groups affiliated with, or sympathetic to, al-Qa’ida.”

But as Fox News reported, according to General Carter Ham, the head of U.S. forces in Africa, it was apparent “within hours” not weeks that Benghazi was an act of terror.

Last week, General Ham told the Aspen Security Forum that he was in a meeting with Secretary of Defense Panetta and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey when word of the attack came in: “It became apparent to all of us quickly that this was not a demonstration, this was a violent attack,” Ham said.

Nonetheless, Rice, on behalf of President Obama, took to the talk shows immediately following the attack to advance the false narrative blaming an Internet video. The claim has been made that they were simply reading from the talking points they were given. But which talking points?

Former CIA Director General David Petraeus reportedly testified before Congress that the initial talking points produced by the CIA “stated there were indications the attack was linked to al Qaeda,” and suggested the terrorism reference was removed sometime during an interagency review process.

So what happened between the time of General Ham’s meeting with Panetta and General Dempsey, the CIA-generated talking points that noted the terrorist connection and Ambassador Rice’s Sunday talk circuit circus? Given the lies and the spin and the contradictions, we want the records.  That’s the only way to clear this web of lies up.

The lawsuit for the underlying talking points and updates given to Rice for her controversial media appearances is the fourth FOIA lawsuit Judicial Watch has filed in its continuing efforts to uncover the full story of what transpired within the Obama administration before, during, and after the Benghazi attack.

And we did log one small victory for transparency.

As I reported a few weeks ago, in response to one of our other FOIA lawsuits, on June 6, 2013, Judicial Watch obtained the first seven photos released to the public by the State Department depicting the carnage at the Benghazi consulate.  These photos are significant, not so much for what they show, but rather because they represent the first leak in the Benghazi stonewall.

The Obama administration hopes that stonewalling Benghazi answers will make the scandal go away. But that never works.  On the contrary, there is a groundswell of Americans who want accountability for Benghazi. This new FOIA lawsuit further highlights the Obama administration’s utter contempt for transparency.

And, as if the Obama administration’s disdain for FOIA law were not enough, there is also the issue of witness intimidation.

As reported by the Daily Caller, evidently the Obama administration has intimidated and threatened people who witnessed the Benghazi attack which has delayed congressional investigations. In fact, last week, Congressman Frank Wolf said he had it on good authority that Benghazi witnesses have been forced by the Defense Department and the CIA to sign non-disclosure agreements preventing them from testifying to what they saw. Some of these agreements, as reported by Human Events, were signed as recently as this summer.

Stonewalling, lying, witness intimidation…these are the tactics we see employed time and time again by the Obama administration. It’s time to put an end to it.

Once again, if you want access to some of the key facts related to Benghazi, as opposed to the spin you get from the Obama administration, check out this prescient Judicial Watch Special Report entitled “The Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012.”

And I’ll be sure to update you on the progress of our Benghazi lawsuits in this space.

Judicial Watch Obtains Documents Revealing HHS Plans for High-Level Hiring Surge on Day Obamacare Passed

Ever see a high pressure sales job on a used car lot? You know, where the salesman with the slicked back hair and the bad cologne tries to stick you with a lemon. His job is to get you off the lot at sticker price before you realize the car has no power steering or air conditioning.

Well that’s exactly what we’ve seen from the very beginning with the president’s healthcare overhaul boondoggle known as Obamacare. (The Obama administration has already given businesses a one-year delay for implementation, conveniently shifting the mess past Election Day 2014, while businesses are moving to hire more part-time workers to avoid the penalties required by the law.)

As JW has uncovered, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has used every dirty trick in the book to shove Obamacare down our throats. The agency bankrolled a $200 million propaganda campaign to “persuade” the American people that the healthcare monstrosity would be in their best interest and trotted out aging television star Andy Griffith for a “public service” campaign.  HHS also spent $1.4 million to make “a big guerilla campaign splash” on the Internet through paid advertisements targeting Hispanics, blacks and women.

And now we learn that HHS was ready – on moment-one after Obamacare passage – to bypass compensation rules to hire a legion of high-priced government employees to push the lemon off the lot.

According to documents we released this week, on the day Obamacare passed, HHS obtained permission from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to cast aside normal hiring procedures in order to hire 1,814 highly-paid, top-level administrators to expedite Obamacare implementation.

According to the documents obtained by JW, OPM Director John Berry gave HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Denise Wells extraordinary “direct-hire appointing authority” (DHA) in order to bypass normal channels and, in Berry’s words, “hire quickly in order to execute the President’s directive with respect to implementing health care reform.” In all, HHS was granted permission to utilize what Wells termed the DHA “valuable human capital recruitment tool” to hire 1,814 GS 13 – 15 employees, including:

  • 59 Social Science Analyst/Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 350 Health Insurance Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 55 Administrative and Program Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 235 Program Analysts/Management Analysts at the GS-15 level
  • 40 Accountants at the GS 15 level
  • 90 Dental Officers at the GS 14 level
  • 291 Public Health Advisors/Analysts at the GS-14 level
  • 261 Consumer Safety Officers at the GS-13 level
  • 92 Grants Management Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 50 Criminal Investigators at the GS-13 level
  • 291 Information Technology Specialists at the GS-15 level

According to the Base General Schedule Pay Scale, in 2010, the nearly 2,000 new employees hired to “quickly” implement the Obamacare program would have received between $70,000 and $130,000 per year. More than 1,100 of the new employees would have come in at the GS-15 level, starting at nearly $100,000 annually.  The Daily Mail took a look at our documents that the Obama administration sought to spend $159 million a year on these new Obamacare government employees.

But there’s more.

Additional documents obtained by Judicial Watch reveal that, in early 2013, Anne Filipic, the president of Enroll America (a nonprofit “tasked with selling Obamacare”), worked with then-professional staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee Debra Curtis to organize Obamacare congressional briefings explicitly excluding Republican House members and their staffs. (Filipic is a former Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Director at HHS.)

Among the highlights from the records:

  • In an email dated February 11, 2013, Curtis wrote to Filipic, “They [House Democrat leadership] want to do another one next week while Congress is in recess that would be open all House Democratic Staff [emphasis added] to start getting folks up to speed.”
  • In email dated February 12, 2013, Curtis wrote to Filipic: “I would guess that this would be a well-attended event with upward of 100 people in attendance. We’ll check IDs to be sure we’ve got all Dems coming as well.” [Emphasis added]

(Once again, we see evidence that the president, who was supposed to usher in a new era of bipartisanship, has instead inspired divisiveness and exclusion.)

Filipic is also at the center of a growing controversy involving possible illegal Obamacare fundraising done on behalf of Filipic’s Enroll America by her former boss at HHS, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. On May 10, 2013, the Washington Post broke the story that in “an unusual fundraising push” Sebelius was pressuring health care industry officials regulated by HHS to make donations to Enroll America. On May 14, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to Sebelius saying,Our initial reaction is that this appears at best to be an inherent conflict of interest and at worst a potentially illegal augmentation of appropriation.”

In a follow-up letter on June 27, a group of 28 Republican senators admonished Sebelius, “Article I of the Constitution gives Congress alone the power of the purse. Your agency requested additional money to implement the exchanges, and Congress denied that request. You cannot evade Congress’ Constitutional power of the purse through gifts or donations to an entity that appears to be ‘just an arm of the administration,’ as one health industry official described Filipic’s Enroll America in The Hill.” The House Commerce Committee is currently investigating the Sebelius solicitations.

Even as the ill-conceived Obamacare law continues to crumble, we are learning more and more about its massive cost to the American people the and backroom politics attendant to its passage and implementation.

Barack Obama and his cohorts created a bureaucratic contrivance to hand massive new powers to an already bloated federal government. And the cost in tax dollars, jobs, the rule of law, and individual freedom is becoming increasingly clear.

And the scary part is…this is only the beginning.

Judicial Watch Joins Military Religious Freedom Coalition

Judicial Watch recently joined a coalition with a very important mission: To protect the religious freedoms of our men and women in uniform.

It is a sad day indeed when there needs to be a coalition to preserve what has been recognized as a basic right for American servicemen and women (and all Americans) for 237 years. But that is the state of affairs in Obama’s military.

There’s the Air Force officer who was forced to remove a Bible from his desk because it might offend someone. There’s the military chaplain who was instructed to resign his commission if he refused to “get on board” with the abolition of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. There’s the 20-year old ethics course that was eliminated in July 2011 because it referenced scripture.  And there’s the painting containing a verse from scripture that was forcibly removed from the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho following a complaint by an anti-religious support group.

Did you ever imagine there would come a day when referencing scripture would be deemed “extremist” in this country? And these are but a few examples. And that’s why we’re joining this new coalition.

On July 9, I was pleased to participate in the inaugural Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition press conference at the U.S. Capitol to address the erosion of military religious freedoms.  In addition to Judicial Watch other groups represented at the press conference included the Family Research Council, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, the Center for Security Policy, the Media Research Center, Liberty Counsel Action, the Center for Military Readiness, and the Ohio Faith and Freedom Coalition. I want to particularly note the leadership of our friends at Family Research Council in moving this coalition forward.

Press conference speakers included Representatives John Fleming (R-LA), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Here is the coalition’s mission as described on its official website http://www.militaryfreedom.org:

The history of religious expression in American military life dates back to the Revolutionary War. For over 200 years our servicemen and women have lived their faith in service to their country, often making the ultimate sacrifice. Unfortunately, in recent years, we have seen an increase in hostility to religious expression in the military. The Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition is committed to restoring and ensuring the religious freedoms of our military men and women who risk their lives every day for our freedoms.

(By the way, if you want to know more about this critical issue, please take a moment to click here and read the FRC’s report A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military.)

Now, there is legislation working its way through the Hill right now that addresses the coalition’s prime goal.  As reported by Breitbart.com:

On June 5, the House Armed Services Committee adopted two amendments for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, which governs the Department of Defense during the next fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2013.

The first amendment was offered by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). It protects the rights of chaplains to speak and pray in a manner consistent with their faith, such as ending a prayer in Jesus’ name. This amendment passed by voice vote…

[The second] amendment is the most consequential. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) offered an amendment specifying that the religious speech and actions of all service members is a protected right, and that the Department of Defense will enact regulations to allow and accommodate those beliefs in both word and deed.

Separately, Judicial Watch is pursuing a number of Freedom of Information Act requests concerning this core issue of religious freedom in our military.  I am convinced that the Left wants to remake the military in a way as to make it to unappealing to God-fearing Americans.  The attack on this pillar of American freedom must be exposed, answered and stopped – whether through legislation or public pressure (and a lawsuit or two!).

In the meantime, I encourage you to get the word about this issue and to make your views about the importance of military religious freedom known in no uncertain terms to your elected representatives.

Until next week…

Records also show that former White House staffer, now president of Enroll America, worked with key House Democrat staffers to exclude Republicans from Obamacare briefings

(Washington, DC) — Judicial Watch announced today that, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) investigation, it has obtained documents revealing that on the day Obamacare passed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) obtained permission from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to cast aside normal hiring procedures in order to hire 1,814 highly-paid, top-level administrators to expedite Obamacare implementation.

The documents also reveal that former White House staffer Anne Filipic, as president of Enroll America (a nonprofit “tasked with selling Obamacare”), worked with key members of the House Ways and Means Committee to exclude Republicans from congressional briefings.

According to the documents, OPM Director John Berry gave HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources Denise Wells extraordinary “direct-hire appointing authority” (DHA) in order to bypass normal channels and, in Berry’s words, “hire quickly” in order to execute the President’s directive with respect to implementing health care reform.” In all, HHS was granted permission to utilize what Wells termed the DHA “valuable human capital recruitment tool” to hire 1,814 GS 13 – 15 employees, including:

  • 59 Social Science Analyst/Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 350 Health Insurance Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 55 Administrative and Program Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 235 Program Analysts/Management Analysts at the GS-15 level
  • 40 Accountants at the GS 15 level
  • 90 Dental Officers at the GS 14 level
  • 291 Public Health Advisors/Analysts at the GS-14 level
  • 261 Consumer Safety Officers at the GS-13 level
  • 92 Grants Management Specialists at the GS-15 level
  • 50 Criminal Investigators at the GS-13 level
  • 291 Information Technology Specialists at the GS-15 level

According to the Base General Schedule Pay Scale, in 2010, the nearly 2,000 new employees hired to “quickly” implement the Obamacare program would have received between $70,000 and $130,000 per year. More than 1,100 of the new employees would have come in at the GS-15 level, starting at nearly $100,000 annually.

Additional documents reveal that in early 2013, the president of Enroll America, Anne Filipic – a former Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Deputy Director at HHS – worked with then-professional staff member of the House Ways and Means Committee Debra Curtis to organize Obamacare congressional briefings, explicitly excluding Republican House members and their staffs:

  • In an email dated February 11, 2013, Curtis wrote to Filipic, “They [House Democrat leadership] want to do another one next week while Congress is in recess that would be open all House Democratic Staff  [emphasis added] to start getting folks up to speed.”
  • In email dated February 12, 2013, Curtis wrote to Filipic: “I would guess that this would be a well-attended event with upward of 100 people in attendance. We’ll check IDs to be sure we’ve got all Dems coming as well.” [Emphasis added]

Filipic is also at the center of a growing controversy involving possible illegal Obamacare fundraising done on behalf of Filipic’s Enroll America by her former boss at HHS, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. On May 10, 2013, the Washington Post broke the story that in “an unusual fundraising push” Sebelius was pressuring health care industry officials regulated by HHS to make donations to Enroll America. On May 14, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee sent a letter to Sebelius saying,Our initial reaction is that this appears at best to be an inherent conflict of interest and at worst a potentially illegal augmentation of appropriation.”

In a follow-up letter on June 27, a group of 28 Republican senators admonished Sebelius:  “Article I of the Constitution gives Congress alone the power of the purse.  Your agency requested additional money to implement the exchanges, and Congress denied that request.  You cannot evade Congress’ Constitutional power of the purse through gifts or donations to an entity that appears to be ‘just an arm of the administration,’ as one health industry official described Filipic’s Enroll America in The Hill.” The House Commerce Committee is currently investigating the Sebelius solicitations.

“Even as the ill-conceived Obamacare law continues to crumble, we are learning more and more about its massive cost to the American people and the shady politics attendant to its passage and implementation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Our Freedom of Information Act investigation is ongoing, and these new documents raise more questions about the Sebelius shakedown operation to support Obamacare propaganda from Enroll America.”

Judicial Watch and The Heritage Foundation joined forces last month to investigate Obamacare activity on the part of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  The joint investigation was prompted by reports that the Secretary had “gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law.”  In response, U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander launched a congressional inquiry into whether the Secretary’s fundraising appeals, conducted by phone and in person, primarily made on behalf of Enroll America, violated the Antideficiency Act, codified at 31 U.S.C. §§ 1341, 1342, and 1517.  Contrary to HHS’s claims that a shoestring budget to launch Obamacare has forced it to go begging for private monies, records published at www.usaspending.gov show the agency has distributed more than $5 million in grants and paid more than $15 million in contracts to implement the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) since its enactment on March 23, 2010.

Documents obtained today through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, show that, despite a government-wide pay freeze in place at the time, the administration cast aside normal hiring practices in order to expedite the implementation of Obamacare.  Highlights from the documents obtained so far show that:

The same day Obamacare was enacted, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director John Berry gave HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources (HR) Denise Wells “direct-hire appointing authority” to add 1,814 new HHS staffers, including 92 Grants Management Specialists and 50 Criminal Investigators;

On May 3, 2010, Ms. Wells granted all Operating and Staff Division Heads the authority to begin hiring in all occupational categories identified by OPM as necessary “to support the Administration’s Health Care Reform initiative”;

An undated attachment to Ms. Wells’ May 3 memo  notes that while use of www.usajobs.gov is “strongly encouraged,” hand-delivered hard-copy applications for certain “name request” applicants would be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Public interest in the Secretary’s possible misconduct in this instance is heightened by the fact that it would not represent Ms. Sebelius’s first ethical challenge during her tenure as an Obama administration official, having been found guilty in September 2012 of violating the Hatch Act in support of the President’s reelection campaign.  The documents highlighted here stem from Judicial Watch’s May 16, 2013 requested of all HHS communications from January 1, 2010 through the present with Anne Filipic, former White House staffer turned president of Enroll America, a nonprofit organization “tasked with selling Obamacare.”

Judicial Watch continues pursuing additional documentary evidence surrounding Obamacare’s implementation as media coverage continues to unfold regarding the Secretary’s “dancing around serious ethical lines”:

May 16, 2013:    Request to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for Enroll America’s 2010, 2011, and 2012 tax transcripts as well as the organization’s tax-exempt status determination letter;

May 17, 2013:  Request to HHS for all records reflecting the scope and extent of the Secretary’s healthcare fundraising activities, including emails to or from the White House, Congress, any member of the media, or other third party, particularly on behalf of Enroll America;

May 20, 2013:    Request to HHS for records reflecting the Secretary’s solicitation of time, money, and expertise from “eighteen categories of individuals and organizations,” per HHS spokesman Jason Young[1];

May 23, 2013: Request to HHS for records reflecting the agency’s communications from, to, or about the nation’s major health insurers, druggists, and a medical records software company, plus an additional advocacy group: Families USA;

May 24, 2013: Request to IRS for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2010, 2011, and 2012 tax transcripts as well as the organization’s tax-exempt status determination letter;

June 25, 2013: Request to HHS for all communications about Obamacare from May 1, 2013 through the present with any media outlet;

June 25, 2013: Request to HHS for all records respecting how to use the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Assocation (NBA) to promote Obamacare.

The Obama administration responded to the foregoing requests in a variety of ways, none of them involving disclosure:

May 20, 2013: Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the division of HHS primarily responsible for implementing Obamacare, classified Judicial Watch as a Commercial Use Requester, denying our organization’s request for a fee waiver in obtaining public records and disseminating them in the public interest.

May 22, 2013: HRSA granted Judicial Watch’s fee waiver appeal of the same day, claiming that the misclassification of our organization as a profit-driven enterprise was an “inadvertent error.”

June 18, 2013: HHS conceded locating 388 pages of records regarding the agency’s efforts on behalf of Enroll America.  HHS also admitted withholding the entire production, claiming that release of these records would have “a detrimental effect on [HHS’s] decisionmaking process.”

June 18, 2013: HHS conceded locating an additional 267 pages of records, these focused on the Secretary’s solicitation of time, money, and expertise from 18 categories of individuals and organizations.  The agency withheld all these records, too, claiming they were created in preparation for a lawsuit.

June 25, 2013: Providing no records responsive to Judicial Watch’s request, IRS claimed that Enroll America’s 2012 tax transcript had been moved to an office of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Judicial Watch redirected its request for Enroll America’s transcripts to the indicated location.

June 25, 2013: HHS claimed never to have received Judicial Watch’s request for records of the agency’s communications with the nation’s major health insurers.  Judicial Watch put this false claim to rest by supplying HHS with delivery confirmation obtained from the U.S. Postal Service.

As of June 26, 2013, Judicial Watch has appealed two of the five pending FOIA requests and has warned HHS that, pursuant to recent precedent of the D.C. Circuit, litigation respecting a third unfulfilled request is imminent.  The IRS has fulfilled none of the requests made to it, making that agency subject to suit on all counts.  Judicial Watch and Heritage will continue fighting for disclosure of all government activity in relation to the administration’s rollout of Obamacare.

America’s Largest Government Watchdog Calls on Congress to Clean up Corruption and Restore Rule of Law to Washington, DC

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch today released its list of investigative priorities for the new 113th Congress. The investigative agenda, which is being independently pursued by Judicial Watch, is a wide-ranging catalog of waste, fraud and abuse by the Obama administration. The investigative priorities include:

  • Rule by Executive Fiat: President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress, often contrary to the U.S. Constitution, and implement his agenda via executive fiat on a wide range of issues from undermining the Second Amendment to rewriting immigration law, to controlling free speech on the Internet.
  • Benghazi-gate: The Obama administration’s attempts to deceive the American people regarding the terrorist connection to the murder of four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi; the decision by the State Department to deny support for U.S. forces during the attack and the Obama administration’s refusal to bolster security at the consulate in the lead up to the anniversary of 9/11.
  • Bin Laden Raid Leaks and Secrets:  The Obama Department of Defense’s (DOD) decision to leak classified details at the behest of the Obama White House to the filmmakers behind Zero Dark Thirty, a Hollywood film detailing the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden; the refusal of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the leaks despite a criminal referral from the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General; the leaking of the names of military operatives involved in the raid by DOD Undersecretary Mike Vickers; the connection of John Brennan, Obama’s pick to head the CIA, to the leaks; the decision by the Obama DOD to withhold from the American people the videos and photos detailing the raid. 
  • Election Fraud: The DOJ’s refusal to enforce provisions of the National Voter Registration Act, that requires states to maintain clean voter registration lists; DOJ’s campaign to threaten, intimidate and sue states that attempt to implement election integrity provisions consistent with the law, such as voter ID laws; DOJ’s collusion with radical leftist and corrupt special interest groups such as Project Vote and other ACORN-connected groups.
  • Threats to Second Amendment Protections: The Obama administration’s closed-door discussions with anti-gun activists designed to craft policies that restrict gun ownership and undermine the Second Amendment, including new policies that would seek to pressure businesses to toe the administration’s gun agenda; policy recommendations that “suggest” doctors ask patients about gun ownership; efforts to compile federal registries on gun ownership; and efforts to use EPA regulations to restrict gun ownership. 
  • Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s highly controversial June 20, 2012, assertion of “executive privilege” to protect Attorney General Eric Holder from being prosecuted for failing to provide Congress with documents pertaining to the Obama administration’s deadly gunrunning operation known as Operation Fast and Furious; Obama’s invocation of executive privilege moves the legal and political questions surrounding the deaths of more than 300 Mexicans directly into the Oval Office; efforts by the Holder DOJ and top Justice officials to conceal their knowledge and participation in the Fast and Furious scandal and to escape accountability while blaming the scandal on low level officials.
  • Ongoing Government Bailouts: The government’s continued control of private sector institutions through bailouts of private financial institutions; government decisions regarding the ongoing Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailouts; the role of the Federal Reserve in supporting European Union bailouts and the continued financing of our nation’s public debt; and the government takeover of the American automotive industry.
  • Green Energy Boondoggles:  The Obama Department of Energy’s decision to funnel $16.4 billion to “green energy” companies either run by or primarily owned by Obama financial backers; the half-a-billion taxpayer dollars given to the now-bankrupt Solyndra, a green energy boondoggle financially backed by Tulsa billionaire Georg Kaiser, an Obama campaign fundraiser; the decision by the Obama White House to fast-track the Solyndra loan through the approval process; bailouts given to other failing “green pork” companies, such as Fisker Automotive, Ener1, Abound Solar, and Beacon Power.
  • Illegal Immigration: The President’s amnesty scheme for illegal aliens imposed via executive fiat; deteriorating security on the nation’s border with Mexico; the Obama administration’s unwillingness to enforce federal immigration laws and attacks against states attempting to confront the illegal immigration crisis.
  • National Security: Unanswered questions concerning the relationship of the FBI and CIA to American-born militant Imam Anwar al-Aulaqi and his assassination per the order of Barack Obama in 2011; the Obama administration’s determined efforts to censor speech about the threat of radical Islam.
  • Obama Czars: Barack Obama’s repeated attempts to bypass the “advice and consent” authority of the U.S. Senate and appoint unaccountable and corrupt czars to control major aspects of government policy and programs outside of the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); the decision by Obama to improperly employ a controversial recess appointment to install radical leftist Richard Cordray at the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) after the Senate had blocked his nomination; Obama’s decision to use recess appointments to appoint three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a move which exceeded his constitutional authority per a recent appeals court ruling.
  • Obamacare: Obamacare’s mandate to evaluate medical treatments based solely on cost; the Obama administration’s secrecy regarding the distribution of Obamacare waivers; the Obama administration’s use of taxpayer dollars to produce and distribute Obamacare propaganda; and the regulation and funding of Obamacare in general.
  • Unprecedented Secrecy: The Obama administration’s withholding of records pertaining to Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; to withholding the Secret Service’s White House visitor logs; to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections. (Judicial Watch has had to file almost 1,000 FOIA requests and nearly 100 FOIA lawsuits against the Obama administration.)

Judicial Watch, in partnership with Breitbart.com, commissioned an election night survey of voters conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, which found that corruption in the federal government is a serious concern among voters, with 85% saying they are “concerned” and of that number 53% saying they are “very concerned.”

“There was only one non-partisan mandate handed to Congress and the president on Election Day 2012 – to clean up corruption and restore the rule of law to Washington,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “President Obama has presided over the greatest expansion of government power in modern history and most of this activity has escaped congressional oversight. Judicial Watch is doing its part to fill in the oversight gap, but it is well past time for Congress to help pry loose information from the Obama administration, which has proven to be both highly secretive and corrupt.”

In its ongoing effort to single out health disparities between ethnic minorities and Caucasians, the Obama Administration has published a new State Obesity Map that reveals blacks, the poor and uneducated are disproportionately obese compared to their more affluent and educated white counterparts.

The new tool, published on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, offers a state-by-state breakdown of obesity rates in the United States. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese, according to the CDC, and blacks have the highest rates (49.5%) of obesity, the agency found. Mexicans are second with an obesity rate of over 40% and “non-Hispanic whites” come in at 34.3%.

Not surprisingly, the government determined that even within some minority communities, those with higher incomes are less likely to be obese than those who make less money. This is referred to as socioeconomic disparity. Likewise, those with college degrees are less likely to be obese compared with the less educated, according to the CDC’s findings.

This is critical for minorities because obesity-related conditions can be deadly and include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. In fact, medical costs associated with obesity are estimated by the CDC to run north of $146 billion in one year alone. That translates into an individual medical bill of $1,429 higher for obese people compared to “those of normal weight,” according to the agency.

That can only mean one thing; poor minorities are victims, at a disadvantage and Uncle Sam must step in and help out. When it comes to healthcare, this has been the Obama Administration’s consistent message. In fact, an Obamacare initiative to “reduce racial and ethnic health disparities” established half a dozen federal Offices of Minority Health as well as one for each state. Their mission is to reduce health disparities between minorities and whites.

The administration has also dedicated more than $100 million help lower chronic diseases—such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease—“disproportionately seen among poor and minority populations.” Part of that effort includes eliminating “food deserts” in urban areas. The term was coined by First Lady Michelle Obama to describe poor areas she claims don’t have access to affordable healthy fare such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk. American taxpayers are also financing the costly transformation of the inner city diet.

Additionally, a new federal task force was created earlier this year to “reduce racial and ethnic asthma disparities.” The president found this government expansion essential because asthma disproportionately affects minority children and kids living below the poverty level. Specifically, the asthma rates of African American and Puerto Rican children are more than double the rate of Caucasian children in the United States, according to the new President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children.

The administration even created, for the first time ever, a new section on socioeconomic status in the CDC’s annual comprehensive report on Americans’ health. Nearly two dozen pages are dedicated to the special socioeconomic status section, which includes charts and graphs comparing the difference in the healthcare received by whites, Hispanics, blacks and Asians. Practically all ailments are mentioned, including asthma, obesity, mental disorders and dental visits with a breakdown of disparities among ethnic minorities and the uneducated and poverty-stricken.

Everything from depression to edentulism (lack of natural teeth), obesity, cigarette smoking and cancer is more prevalent among the poor, according to the government’s assessment. Even childhood attention deficit disorder hits low-income minorities harder and practically every chronic disease known to man strikes them at much greater rates than educated whites. In short, people with higher education and income levels have lower rates of many chronic diseases compared to those with less education and lower income levels, the feds assert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The decision is monstrous.’ 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare:

This Supreme Court majority rewrote Obamacare and then upheld its constitutionality. This decision is monstrous and upends the constitutional limits on federal power. That the Chief Justice would join the Court’s liberal block to legislate from the bench is shocking. Instead of calling the law Obamacare, we can fairly call it “Robertscare.”

Justice Kagan’s controversial decision to participate in this case despite unanswered questions about her role in defending Obamacare while working in the Obama administration also taints the High Court’s decision.

The Court’s decision will contribute to the public’s concern that our government is out of control and acting without constitutional authority. The rule of law suffered a stinging blow today.

On February 13, 2012, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief with the High Court challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, specifically the “individual mandate.” In its brief Judicial Watch maintained that the “individual mandate” provision of Obamacare, which requires every American citizen to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty, is unconstitutional – whether considered under Congress’ commerce power or taxing power:

Petitioners are trying to defend a provision in an act passed by Congress that exceeds its enumerated powers. Though Congress enacted this provision under the Commerce Clause, Congress’ power under the clause is not broad enough to compel Americans to engage in commerce by purchasing a particular product. Though Petitioners try to rescue the provision by arguing that it is valid under Congress’ taxing power even if it is invalid under Congress’ commerce power, a provision of an act that is not a tax may not be construed as a tax merely to save it from being declared unconstitutional.

Judicial Watch further argued that if the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of the individual mandate, “it must be willing to hold that Congress’ powers under the Commerce clause are plenary and unlimited, for there remains no principled way to limit Congress’ power if it is stretched as far as Petitioners (the Obama administration) ask.”

Judicial Watch also uncovered documents detailing Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s role in Obamacare discussions when she served as President Obama’s Solicitor General.

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