Lt. Gov. Bryant joins lawsuit to block ObamaCare

JACKSON, MS (THE OFFICE OF LIEUTENANT PHIL BRYANT) Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant jointly filed a lawsuit with Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, challenging the constitutionality of the recently enacted federal health care legislation.

Filed Friday afternoon in the Hattiesburg Division of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Bryant said this suit is about protecting our rights as citizens.

"If Congress can mandate health insurance, then it can even mandate Americans buying an electric car," said Bryant. "The Federal government has no business in regulating the rights and freedoms we hold dear as Americans. I have joined this lawsuit as a private citizen, not in my official capacity as Lt. Governor, and I intend to fight alongside Sen. Chris McDaniel to protect our rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

The recently passed federal health care legislation requires each American to have health insurance or pay a fine to the government. The federal lawsuit argues that by imposing such a mandate, the Act exceeds the powers of the United States Government under Article I of the Constitution and violates the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

In the suit Bryant contends that under the Act, the federal government will have the power to determine the scope of health insurance coverage that the State of Mississippi must offer its employees. That will have the effect of requiring each state employee, such as Phil Bryant, to have specific health coverage as mandated by the federal government, even though the employee may not need or want that particular coverage.

"The federal government has never before required every American to do something under the penalty of law. If Congress has this type of unlimited power, then the states and individuals are left with no authority," said Bryant.

Lt. Governor Bryant sent a letter March 22 to State Attorney General Jim Hood requesting him to file suit on behalf of the State of Mississippi. The State Attorney General has not replied to that letter. Today's action by the Lt. Governor adds to the growing number of federal lawsuits against the individual mandate in the federal health care legislation.