<i>The Detroit News</i>, July 22, 2010

A federal judge heard arguments this morning in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of health care legislation that would penalize citizens who fail to obtain their own health care insurance.

The lawsuit, filed by an Ann Arbor-based legal advocacy center for religious principles on behalf of four Michigan residents, claims the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed by Congress and signed in March by President Barack Obama overreaches government authority by taxing residents for doing nothing.

"There is no precedent for this power grab," Robert Muise, an attorney with the Thomas More Law Center, said in arguing for an injunction blocking the $940 billion program.

Muise told U.S. District Judge George C. Steeh that Congress can regulate economic activity, but a decision to not purchase health insurance is non-activity and beyond the scope of government regulation.

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