Today, we filed the only amicus brief supporting a 20-state challenge to Obamacare being led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The case is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas In December 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which eliminated the Obamacare penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate. The Texas lawsuit asks that Obamacare be declared unconstitutional in its entirety, since a zero tax cannot form the basis of the exercise of the taxing power.
On March 7, 2016, our firm filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s challenge to his conviction on federal corruption charges.
Our brief argues that setting and enforcing ethical standards applicable to state and local government officials is not among the enumerated powers vested in Congress. Rather, such matters belong exclusively to the States and to the People of each State. This exclusive state authority is protected not only by the Tenth Amendment, but also is secured to the States by the Constitution’s guarantee of a republican form of government. It is the responsibility of elected State government officials to set the standards that govern communications and relationships between state and local officials and their constituents. It is not for unelected federal prosecutors to have the power to bring down state and local officials. If federal prosecutors are allowed to exercise such powers, what State official could be counted upon to do his duty to resist an overreach of federal power.