Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


Attorney General Olens is 'Encouraged' as Supreme Court Oral Arguments Conclude

March 28, 2012

Today, Attorney General Sam Olens was present as the Supreme Court heard the final two oral arguments on the on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act.

The first argument focused on the issue of “severability,” or whether the Act can survive if the Court invalidates the individual mandate. Plaintiffs argue that the entire Act must be stricken if the mandate is thrown out because it is the linchpin of the Act, and Congress would not have enacted the healthcare law without this provision. The second argument centered on the Act’s requirement that states massively expand their Medicaid programs. The states argue that the Congress cannot force the States to expand, operate, and substantially fund the expansion of Medicaid, or coerce them to do so by threatening the loss of all federal Medicaid funding. Click here  for a transcript of today’s argument.

“Today concluded three historic days of arguments in the Supreme Court on the states’ challenge to Patient Protection and Affordability Care Act,” said Olens. “It was an honor to attend the majority of the arguments, where I was able to witness the expertise and eloquence of our counsel Paul Clement before our Nation’s highest court. I commend Mr. Clement for his excellent representation of Georgia and our fellow plaintiffs, and extend my sincere gratitude to the attorneys here in Georgia who have represented our state pro bono in this matter:  Jason Alloy, Josh Belinfante, Pitts Carr, Frank Jones, Ben Mathis, David Oedel, John Parker, and Mike Russ. I also thank Governor Nathan Deal for his strong leadership on this vital issue for Georgia.”

“The outcome of this case will drastically impact the course of this Nation for decades to come, and the repercussions will be broader than just healthcare. If this law is not invalidated, there will be no constraints on the power of the federal government to infringe upon our individual liberty. I am encouraged by the past three days of arguments and look forward to the Court’s decision at the end of June.”