Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

12 States Ready to Launch Lawsuits against Federal Healthcare Law

Posted by faithandthelaw on March 23, 2010

By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2010 ( – Virginia and eleven other states are readying the first battle with the federal government over the newly passed health care legislation, with their state attorneys general prepared to argue that the impending law and its mandates to buy health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution, and trample on individual and states’ rights. The lawsuits are poised to begin as soon as President Barack Obama has signed the now Congressionally-approved health care bill into law.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli first announced his plans to file suit in Richmond, saying the Constitution gives Congress no authority under the interstate commerce clause to force Americans to buy a product, let alone health insurance.

The new health care law requires that every American carry health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine to the Internal Revenue Service.

“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,” Cuccinelli declared in a statement.

“We believe the federal law is unconstitutional as it is based on the commerce clause. Simply put, not buying insurance is not engaging in commerce,” the attorney general added.

Cuccinelli warned that if the premise behind the law is accepted, then Congress has unlimited authority to regulate the lives of every single American.

“If you are not engaged in commerce, the federal government cannot regulate this inaction. Just being alive is not interstate commerce. If it were, Congress could regulate every aspect of our lives.”

A Cucinelli spokesman told the Washington Post that the attorney general plans to file the lawsuit “as soon as the ink is dry” on the bill signed into law by President Obama.

Eleven other U.S. states so far have banded together in another, separate lawsuit to fight the federal government, citing constitutional overreach in its health care bill. The attorneys general of Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington have banded together to launch the same lawsuit against the federal government.

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster denounced the health care legislation as “an assault against the Constitution of the United States.”

“It contains various provisions and federal mandates that are clearly unconstitutional and must not be allowed to stand,” McMaster said in a statement. “The key question involved is whether personal freedom, state sovereignty and constitutional law will survive in America for future generations.”

“A legal challenge by the States appears to be the only hope of protecting the American people from this unprecedented attack on our system of government,” he continued, adding that he felt compelled by the oath he took “to uphold and defend both the United States and South Carolina constitutions.”

Idaho, which passed a bill mandating its attorney general sue the federal government if national health care reform were enacted, will likely join the fray once President Obama has signed the bill.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has also stated that he is in the process of considering legal challenges to the health care legislation.

Tennessee Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey has also asked Attorney General Bob Cooper to investigate waging a lawsuit against the federal government over the health care legislation.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, over 36 states are considering some form of legislative action that would protect their citizens from different aspects of President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation.

Courtesy of

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