Wednesday, March 24, 2010

States Sue Over Health Care Bill (yesterday's post plus updates)

A number of states are suing the federal government, arguing that the new health-care law is an unconstitutional exercise of federal power. 13 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul, Seattle Times, March 23, 2010. And Washington is among the plaintiff states.

We downloaded the complaint from PACER and posted it here.

Attorney General Rob McKenna's press release about joining the suit is here.

Governor Chris Gregoire's statement, "completely disagree[ing]" with McKenna's action is here.

Update (3/24):
  • Republican McKenna has Olympia Democrats seeing red, Seattle Times, Sept. 24, 2010
    McKenna's decision to join the Florida lawsuit on his own may be unusual, but it's almost certainly legal, said Hugh Spitzer, adjunct law professor at the University of Washington and co-author of a book on the state constitution.

    The state constitution says the attorney general "shall be the legal adviser of the state officers" and can perform other duties "as may be prescribed by law."

    State law says the attorney general can represent the state "in all cases in which the state is interested."

    "Basically, he does not have the inherent authority (in the constitution) to join a lawsuit like this, but there is a good argument that he has the authority under this statute," Spitzer said.
  • David Brewster, McKenna gets trapped by Obamacare politics, Crosscut, March 23, 2010 (political commentary)
  • Health Measure’s Opponents Plan Legal Challenges, N.Y. Times, March 22, 2010 (interviewing three constitutional law professors about the constitutionality of the insurance mandate)
  • Radio Debate on the Constitutionality of the Health Care Bill, Volokh Conspiracy, March 23, 2010 (links to radio debate between law professor Ilya Somin and law dean Erwin Chemerinsky (who was also quoted in the NYT article above). Also links to online written statements of their opposing views on this issue.)


ben said... conducted a media study 336 self-reported Democrats, Republicans and Independents who viewed a video clip of South Carolina’s Attorney General asserting that the health reform plan was unconstitutional. Results found that the majority of Democrats (77%) reported that the health care reform plan did not violate the United States Constitution, while the majority of Republicans (87%) indicated that the plan does violate the constitution. While the majority of Democrats (67%) reported that the Attorney General’s decision to sue the federal government was related to partisanship and a political party agenda, the majority of Republicans (83%) indicated that the decision was motivated by concerns that the bill is unconstitutional.
More in depth results can be seen at:

Nicholas said...

So Democrats "reported" and Republicans "indicated" whether the health care bill is does or does not pass constitutional muster. These words, as used, are mere synonyms for "believed." Why, without more, should we give these naked beliefs any weight? The poll is useful, perhaps, in showing that people think that the Constitution somehow objectively comports with their own beliefs.