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March 30, 2010

Indiana Becomes 16th State to Join Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

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The State of Indiana Became the 16th State to Join the Multistate Litigation Against Obamacare

Late this evening news broke that the State of Indiana is now set to become the 16th US state to file a lawsuit against the federal government regarding Obamacare. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made the announcement:

Indiana followed 13 other states Monday in planning to file a lawsuit against the recently passed health care bill.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller said an amended lawsuit will be filed soon in a federal court in Florida, according to the Associated Press. The lawsuit will have a cost of $50,000 and will be divided among the 14 states.

Sen. Richard Lugar requested a report from Zoeller on Jan. 5, seeking a review on the bill that had been passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 24.

In his report, Zoeller listed conflicts he found with the health care law, such as the requirement for U.S. residents to purchase a health care plan and fully funding the expansion of Medicaid only in Nebraska.

So far, 14 states have or shortly will file suit in federal court in Florida, while Virginia has filed its own separate suit in federal court in Virginia and Georgia is set to file suit as well shortly. That makes a total of 16 states now actively suing the United States government over the just-passed Obamacare.

Georgia was the location of the first major state-level battle over litigating against Obamacare

Georgia, after Governor Perdue (R-GA) was forced to appoint a special counsel when Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D-GA) refused to honor the Governor’s request to file suit over Obamacare, is in the process of deciding whether to file a separate suit or join the multi-state Florida action. As noted by CentristNet on Wednesday of last week, Georgia was the first major political dust up at a state level regarding Obamacare, and many other states are now heating up. The AJC is now catching up, recapping those same points on Sunday night while focusing on the media attention received by Perdue and Baker.

In the days and weeks to come, it will be interesting to see how the state-level partisan battles now occurring in many of the remaining 34 states that have not yet filed suit against the US government regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare turn out. If opponents manage to push the number of states even higher than the present 16, public opinion could move even more strongly against the far-flung, gigantic package of trillions in government spending and new taxes known as Obamacare.

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March 22, 2010

State Attorneys General Agree To File Constitutional Challenge To Obamacare Immediately

Author: AHFF Geoff - Categories: Daily Content - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

President Obama, making calls here on Sunday to wavering House Democrats, is about to face a multi-state lawsuit alleging that his signature initiative, Obamacare, is unconstitutional

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.

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