Paul Beard of Pacific Legal Foundation schools on challenging Obamacare and big SCOTUS property rights win (Event Report)

Paul Beard 10-2=3-13 023By George Miller

Attorney Paul J. Beard II of Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) presented the latest on their Constitutional challenge to Obamacare (he is the lead attorney), price based upon its illegal passage; and also the firm’s big U.S. Supreme Court win on private property rights via the Koontz v. St. Johns River Management District ruling. A resounding victory for property owners, cost  Koontz severely restricts agencies’ ability to impose fees, erectile monetary exactions, and other financial obligations on landowners who seek permits to develop their properties. He is traveling widely to build support for PLF and educate people on the new tools to protect property rights. This event at Living Oaks Church in Newbury Park was held on October 3 to help educate the public on legal remedies to recover/preserve Constitutional rights.

















Above: Mr. Beard views aerial photo of another coastal property protected by the firm

PowerPoint Viewer Presentation: Koontz_and_Obamacare.pdf

Official event video:


Obamacare Challenge

“All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments, as on other Bills.” – Origination Clause, Article I, Section 7, Clause 1, U.S. Constitution

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (AKA “Obamacare”) was passed in 2010 under extremely controversial circumstances, involving its constitutionality (Article I, Section 7, Clause 1; 1st Amendment4th Amendment; 5th Amendment, 9th Amendment, 10th Amendment), questionable methods to pass it, questionable workability and financial viability. More than half of the states and other parties opposed it, then litigated it after passage.  Most people know that the U.S. Supreme Court, in a highly controversial ruling last year, declared that the insurance “Mandate” and related fees/penalties, which are at the heart of it, were actually “taxes,” rather than fees, as they were claimed to be in the actual legislation and by its proponents.  This loophole was used by the Court as a rationale for upholding it. Once the “law” goes into effect, people will also be able to claim harm to initiate many other cases, in addition to current ones. There are other rationales for opposing it, some in ongoing litigation, some defeated. PLF’s  Sissel v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services case was brought by an Iowa artist, focusing on the Origination Clause. He declared the following:

? Successful artist from Iowa

? Young, healthy, and financially stable.

? Pays med expenses out of pocket.

? Doesn’t have, want, or need, health insurance.

? Would rather invest in his career & education

? Disputes Obamacare on Constitution’s origination and commerce clauses

MoreSissel v. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services  Obamacare Challenge!

Tax-raising Affordable Care Act started in wrong house of Congress:


More on the Case

The Sissel case now focuses on the alleged violation of the Origination Clause in the illegal passage of Obamacare. The Democrats had to resort to some very “creative” approaches to pass Obamacare. When the Democrats lost a U.S. Senate Special election in MA to Republican Scot Brown, they no longer had the 60 votes required for debate cloture of the bill. So, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid resorted to questionable legislating: he found an old tax credit bill which had passed cloture, stripped out all of its language, substituted “Obamacare” language and a new title, then simply moved ahead as if this bill had already passed all of its legal hurdles and was ready for final passage. Not only was that a gross breech of established Senate procedures, but PLF and plaintiff maintain that it is also a violation of Article I of the Constitution, which says that all spending/revenue bills MUST originate in the House of Representatives.

Then to compound things, when the bill came back to the House, Nancy Pelosi “deemed” it passed, a breech of House rules.

Pelosi Are You Serious Left: Nancy Pelosi, when asked about its constitutionality. When asked about the case’s chance of success, Mr. Beard did not seem supremely confident, thinking back to last year’s decision the outcome of which seemed clear legally before the SCOTUS ruling. He mentioned that it looked like that ruling had been hastily rewritten near the end to uphold Obamacare, opining that Roberts switched his vote, making a 5-4 vote into a 4-5. However, he regards it as a miscarriage of justice and the Sissel case as legally sound.    







Private Property Rights Landmark Case

“… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” – the “takings” clause, 5th Amendment, U.S, Constitution

Mr. Beard reviewed PLF’s June ‘13 U.S. Supreme Court victory in the Koontz vs. Johns River Management District case– a huge win for property owners. The case severely restricts permitting agencies’ ability to impose unreasonable financial obligations (also known as monetary exactions) on property owners who seek permits to use their lands.  This sort of monetary extortion – now made extremely difficult by the Koontz decision – is rampant in the coastal zone, especially (again) by the California Coastal Commission, where PLF contests many of their cases.  Beard describes them as “the most anti-property rights regulator in the country.” “They are attempting to socialize the entire coast.”

Beard reviewed the case background: First, the previous Nolan and Dollan cases applied to land exactions, but were unclear on monetary exactions. In Koontz, a Florida landowner sought a development permit, but government insisted upon two conditions, including money from him to do unrelated development before granting any permits. Koontz refused, the permit was denied and he fought it in the courts until his death, whereupon his son continued the struggle, engaging PLF, which ultimately prevailed in SCOTUS, after the FL Supreme Court had reversed a lower court victory.

The crux of the case is: can government compel financial “exactions” for land use/development permits? The case explored such things as” are there any limits in the “takings clause” as to how much can be taken, who has the burden of proof, is money property that can also be taken/do exactions extend beyond land easements, how does the equal protection clause figure in, does it legitimately advance a state interest over an owner’s rights?

Read Paul’s previous editorial in on the case: Supreme Court Delivers Big Win for Landowners!


A lengthy Q&A session took place after the presentation, with follow-ups on the presentation items, as well as other cases and principles, including personal situations of several of the audience members. Some questions were quite long winded and almost sounded like quasi legal briefs. There are some sad stories out there, which Paul attempted to deliver quick summary impressions on and general recommended direction, short of dispensing legal advice. One former official claimed governmental criminal and civil wrongdoing and wanted to help. One of many interesting points Mr. Beard made was that injured parties should notify potential defendants (government or private) of settled law supporting their cases, to help achieve preemptive relief without resorting to expensive litigation.  The recommended approach is via a letter, with or without assistance of counsel. Multiple, increasingly stronger letters or counsel may be required, since government entities may be merely ignorant of rulings./settled law, or may be trying to get their way, thinking that you are ignorant of your hard-won rights, or lack the will and expertise to enforce them,

Who are they?

Pacific Legal Foundation was established in 1973 by CA Governor Ronald Reagan staffers, initially focusing on property rights and regulatory issues. Their stated strategy is to seek out, engage and win cases which will establish important precedents in favor of constitutional rights.  Being donation-based, PLF solicits your support and is always seeking landmark cases.

Mr. Paul Beard is a Principal Attorney in PLF’s Property Rights Group. As head of PLF’s Coastal Land Rights Project, he oversees litigation against coastal land-use agencies that violate landowners’ private property rights, especially the California Coastal Commission. His cases on behalf of property owners include challenges to unconstitutional conditions on land-use permits and the unlawful assertion of jurisdiction by land-use agencies over private property and its development.  Beyond his litigation duties, Mr. Beard also manages PLF’s Florida and Hawaii offices, overseeing those offices’ administrative and litigation activities.

Event sponsor is a news and commentary publication focusing on Ventura County, CA, events and ideas impacting it.  It serves the public by providing objective journalism, an increasingly rare commodity, as well as thoughtful commentary.

George Miller is a “retired” operations management consultant and a Citizen Journalist, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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Greg Muller

Don’t hold your breath on Obamacare being struck down

Citizen Reporter

Another obamacare challenge citing origination clause was passed over by SCOTUS recently. contacted Paul Beard for comments:

Hi Paul:

How does this impact your case?

George Miller

His response:

—–Original Message—–
From: Paul J. Beard Sent: Thu, Jan 9, 2014 10:21 am
Subject: RE: [New post] Our John Roberts problem is inconceivable

It doesn’t. The standard for an injunction is very exacting – takes a lot for the Court to stop a law from going into effect. The standard for getting a case before the Supreme Court – while still very high – is lower than for an injunction.

Greg Muller

40 House Republicans Back Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

Greg Muller