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.
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.
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.
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.