The Thomas More Law Center has filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on the enforcement of the individual mandate provision of the newly enacted health care reform act, the Ann Arbor-based law firm announced Tuesday.

It was filed in a federal district court. The government has 21 days to respond. The basis for the lawsuit and the motion is that Congress exceeded its authority under the Constitution by mandating that private citizens purchase health care coverage or face a penalty, according to the press release. 

"If Congress can use the Commerce Clause to force people to purchase insurance based on the mere fact that they exist or face federal penalties, then there is no limit to the power of Congress," said Richard Thompson, president and chief Counsel for TMLC, in the press release. "Our case is about the constitutional limits of our federal government. Everyone agrees the health care system needs reform. But that doesn't mean Congress is allowed to violate the Constitution in the process,"

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Whether the injunction is successful depends on how much of a risk a judge will take, says one legal analyst.

"It's going to come down to the individual mandate and how much a judge is going to want to stick his neck out," said Patrick Wright, senior legal analyst at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "This is a gigantic bill that has just gone through a painful political process, and how comfortable is a district court judge going to feel blocking it?"

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