Rochester Rep. Tina Liebling joined 34 others Democrats in the Minnesota House and Senate who signed onto a "friend of the court" brief that defends the constitutionality of the new federal health care law. The brief was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 11th District. The brief was signed by 154 state legislators in 26 states.
This comes after Florida Judge Roger Vinson recently struck down the entire health care law. Vinson concluded that Congress exceeded its authority when it passed the individual mandate requiring all citizens to have health care coverage.
The friend of the court brief argues that Congress has the authority to address national concerns — including health care. They also argue the commerce clause in the constitution gives Congress the authority to impose the mandate.
It's interesting to note that Liebling is the only Democrat from southeast Minnesota who signed onto the amicus brief. Of course, she is on the DFL lead on the House Health and Human Services Committee and a lawyer by trade. Those who did not sign the brief were Rep. Kim Norton, DFL-Rochester, Rep. Gene Pelowski, DFL-Winona, Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin and Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin.