In late breaking news this evening after the historic passage of Obamacare through the House of Representatives by Democrats over bipartisan opposition, many state attorneys general held a conference call in which it was decided that they would file a multi-state suit alleging the newly-passed Obamacare is unconstitutional immediately after President Barack Obama signs the act, which is expected on early next week. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott broke the news on his Facebook page:
Just got off the AG conference call. We agreed that a multi-state lawsuit would send the strongest signal. We plan to file the moment Obama signs the bill. I anticipate him signing it tomorrow. Check back for an update at that time. I will post a link to the lawsuit when it is filed. It will lay out why the bill is unconstitutional and tramples individual and states rights.
While the entire roster of claims regarding unconstitutionality is obviously unknown at this time, it appears that a central focus of the initial immediate filing (which will undoubtedly be amended several times) will be whether the individual mandate, which requires American citizens to purchase health insurance from private insurers, is a constitutional exercise of the federal government’s proscribed powers. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced late Sunday night after the conference call that Virginia planned on joining the multi-state litigation against Obamacare:
Virginia will file suit against the federal government charging that the health-care reform legislation is unconstitutional, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office confirmed last night.
Cuccinelli is expected to argue that the bill, with its mandate that requires nearly every American to be insured by 2014, violates the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. The attorney general’s office will file suit once President Barack Obama signs the bill into law, which could occur early this week.
“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,” Cuccinelli said in a statement last night.
Finally, Florida’s Attorney General Bill McCollum announced Florida would join the suit:
ORLANDO, FL — Moments after Congress voted to approve President Obama’s health care legislation, Florida’s Attorney General announced he will file a lawsuit to declare the bill unconstitutional.
Bill McCollum will join Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota and South Dakota to file a lawsuit against the federal government.
“The health care reform legislation passed by the U. S. House of Representatives this evening clearly violates the U.S. Constitution and infringes on each state’s sovereignty,” McCollum said in a statement distributed late Sunday night.
“If the President signs this bill into law, we will file a lawsuit to protect the rights and the interests of American citizens.”
As noted above, many other states are also expected to join the multi-state litigation set to be filed this week as soon as President Obama signs the bill, originally passed on Christmas Eve 2009 by the Senate and today passed by the House. This matter will present the largest challenge in decades to the present jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause, which presently allows essentially unlimited federal government regulation of any economic activity. One key factor for the Court is state activism to oppose federal encroachment in any given area, and a total of 37 states may pass specific legislation to battle the Obamacare provision requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance:
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho took the lead in a growing, nationwide fight against health care overhaul Wednesday when its governor became the first to sign a measure requiring the state attorney general to sue the federal government if residents are forced to buy health insurance.
Similar legislation is pending in 37 other states.
This litigation will open a new chapter in the Obamacare battle in federal district court, where political fireworks are sure to ensue and a momentous decision is set to be made by the trial court and then, in all likelihood, the Supreme Court of the United States. President Obama may yet regret the recent public fights between him and Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito (who Obama filibustered as a Senator), as the existing acrimony between the branches cannot be helpful for the President’s chances of avoiding a damaging Supreme Court ruling that his signature initiative is unconstitutional.