“It’s a worthy cause,” Mrs. Malone, a retired nurse, said.
“It might put me out of business,” she said. “We’re all waiting to see what happens, but we are all concerned.”
The foundation is seeking 10,000 individual plaintiffs to assert their Constitutional rights in opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the grounds that it “exceeds Congress’ constitutional legislative power; specifically to regulate interstate commerce and the taxing power of the Constitution and that it violates individual liberties under the First, Ninth and Tenth Amendments.”
Grassroots member Patti McElligott worked the booth, passing out information, taking checks and giving the general idea behind the litigation to passersby.
“People are excited about it,” she said. “A lot of people want to know what to do.”
Inside, on the stage, Justice Foundation general counsel Clayton Trotter asked people to get behind the litigation and join the effort. Their goal is to sign up 10,000 plaintiffs, and he said jokingly as enthusiasm increased among the crowd Saturday that he may need only about 9,000 after the rally.
“You guys are the army, the reinforcements, the guys who are going to save the day,” he told the crowd. “This is an essential lawsuit.”
Tyler may become the epicenter of the fight against federal health care legislation if they reach the funding goal for the lawsuit anyone in America who wants to challenge the constitutionality of the bill can join. Several attendees noted that they think the goal will be reached.
Trotter said the $1 million would pay for filing the suit, attorney fees and operating expenses associated with taking the lawsuit to the Supreme Court.
Plaintiffs may join the suit based on several criteria, Trotter said.
Individuals who object to funding abortion via tax dollars may join. Trotter said because the legislation has no Hyde Amendments within it, such as the proposed Stupak amendment, which would bar publicly funding abortions, he thinks “this bill will fund abortions.
Individuals who experience cuts in their medical benefits, including Medicare, that may be detrimental to their health also may join the suit, Trotter said. Because the legislation called for immediate cuts to Medicare after passage, those plaintiffs may have been “immediately injured through personal emotional trauma or suffering.”
Trotter said the federal government also is overstepping its bounds by forcing citizens to purchase health insurance or be subject to fines.
Speakers Tea Party Patriot spokesman C.L. Bryant and Dallas Congressional District 30 candidate Stephen Broden followed Trotter with speeches about turning the tide, through votes, asserting individual rights and returning to and fighting for their Judeo-Christian heritage.
Grassroots member Russ Phillips said he has the paperwork and will join the suit to “stop the steamroller” of federal government. Grassroots Executive Director JoAnn Fleming said that so far, the group has signed up about 100 litigants. Like the attendees interviewed and Trotter, finding 10,000 people to pledge $100 and sign on is expected to be reachable.
The suit will differ from lawsuits filed by 14 state attorneys general across the nation, including Greg Abbott from Texas. Trotter said the suit also would apply constitutional arguments presented by the states.
“Fundamentally, the interest of the state is different than that of its citizens and their Constitutional rights,” Trotter said in a Friday interview. “The purpose of this suit is to represent individual citizens against the excessive and unconstitutional assertion of power by Congress.”
The U.S. Department of Justice, which will defend the legislation in court, will be ready, spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler wrote in an e-mail response about the possible suit.
“The Department of Justice defends statutes that have been passed by Congress and signed by the president and are therefore the law of the United States,” Schmaler said. “Accordingly, we will vigorously defend the constitutionality of the health care reform statute, along with any other claims, in any litigation that is brought against the United States. We are confident that this statute is constitutional, and we will prevail when we defend it in court.”
Possible litigants can find information and join the suit at