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14 States Take Health Care Bill to Court

Posted on Mar 23, 2010

The attorneys general of Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Virginia are suing over the health care reform bill, citing state sovereignty and alleging federal overreach under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

That’s the part of the Constitution that says Washington has the right to regulate interstate commerce, a bit of language recognized by Supreme Court after Supreme Court as the justification for many a federal intrusion into state affairs. This time, say the attorneys general, the feds have gone too far.

Christian Science Monitor:

At a press conference in Florida, McCollum said his lawsuit is intended to move through the courts to the US Supreme Court. “I am confident the court is going to declare the new healthcare law unconstitutional,” he said.

Democratic leaders have downplayed any potential legal problems with the healthcare reform package. Many legal analysts agree with them. Others suggest the issue is open and could produce a landmark decision if the high court decides to take it up.

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By ofersince72, March 26, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

I heard a non-college grad use a term yesterday that
very well depicts America.  Before i say it, let tell you,
the major media has the public so divided by the two
party stysem, lawmakers are able to get any legislation
they want. Most of the legislation that comes from inside
the beltway is against the interests of ALL Americans
no matter what party they give their allegience too.

  B R A I N   W A S H E D   B Y   D E G R E E

was what i heard refering to all of our college grads.!!

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By ofersince72, March 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

this is more of a “conservative” law than liberal
or progressive. 

It could very well been a bill sponsered by repubs…

If it had been , and passed into law by a repub pres

Democrat governors would be taking this mandated
monstrousity to court.

If the American public can’t see that the Centrists,
both Dem and Repub, put this together, decided the votes
and through it on us,  it is no wonder that Capitol Hill
gets away with what they do for their corporate overlords.

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Calabashe's avatar

By Calabashe, March 24, 2010 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

If or when it gets to the Supreme Court it will likely be a battle between States Rights and Interstate Commerce.

What gives me angst is the last big hit from the Supremes, Campaign Finance.

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By ibhdez, March 24, 2010 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Are the Attorney Generals in these states using their own private funds - or are they using tax players funds to pay?

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By Ben, March 24, 2010 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter) 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:

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By Debbie Pickens, March 24, 2010 at 7:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think all government employees should be given what the American people have, what the government gives all Americans.  They should have Social Security as thier retirement plan, healthcare they give the American people, take away what they have now let them purchase a policy on thier own, get a paycheck that reflects the average earnings of thier state.  All lobbyists have to appear before the whole Congress or Senate and they cannot make deals with Senators or Congressmen on thier own.
There are quite a few things they would change if they had to live like the people they represent.
Just my thoughts on how they would represent the American people if they had to live like one.

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By balkas, March 24, 2010 at 7:21 am Link to this comment

Sorry folks for the bad news! The god1, the god in GOd Bless America cannot ever lose and god2,3,4,x,y will always lose.

Change the god1 into god2, [or 7,x,y] and today’s god1 always loses!
?Everything deceives but mathematics never do! God1 doesn’t = god2. tnx

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By balkas, March 24, 2010 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

A better thing to do wld be [if it is a constitutional OK?]for a few or even thousands of citizens to ask the supreme court to rule in or out that it is a human right to obtain doctor-approved medical care paid in some way by all people. And expect the worst! tnx

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By Miko, March 24, 2010 at 3:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“the Constitution and precedent are pretty much on
the side of the President.”

No, the Constitution is deadset against him. 
Precedent probably leans in his favor, however (cf.
the “switch in time that saved nine,” when FDR’s
threat to pack the court led to the abandonment of
the Constitution).  However, it’s not entirely
clearcut.  Previous misinterpretations of the
Commerce Clause have focused on the power of the
federal government to prevent people from doing
things; this case will look at new ground as the
health insurance bailout is about forcing people to
do something (i.e., buy overpriced lousy health
insurance).  This is different enough that the court
could decide to follow the Constitution for once and
kick this legislation into the dustbin of history. 
However, they probably won’t since the conservatives
have an 8-1 majority on the court and conservatives
by-and-large love doing whatever’s in the best
interests of the health insurance industry.

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By ofersince72, March 24, 2010 at 2:49 am Link to this comment

good ,  hope the grand ole party is permanently gone,

now all we have to do is bury the democrat party

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By cyrena, March 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment

The GOP is dead. I figure the least we can do is to give them a proper burial.

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By ofersince72, March 23, 2010 at 9:59 pm Link to this comment

your idea of burying the republicans is becoming more
republican then them.

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By cyrena, March 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, March 23 at 10:03 pm

•  “Please, everybody, forgive me for treating this very serious matter lightly.  There is just a streak of the devil in me that insists on seeing the sad, funny side of practically everything human. It’s what remains of the “liberal” in me in spite of hell and fairly high water.”


Gerard, you’re more than forgiven. I’m feeling a bit giddy myself these days, and had to laugh out loud when I heard of Vice Pres. Biden’s most recent “open mic faux pas”…This is a BIG FUCKING DEAL!!! (the reform bill) Guess he was a bit giddy as well. But it is…oh indeed it is.

I’m glad you still have some ‘liberal’ left in you, despite the hell and fairly high water. I know the feeling…several trips to hell and back, in the midst of 80 foot waves. What can it mean? If we’re still here to talk (and laugh) about it, it’s a good thing.

Anyway, at my ‘moderate’ level of Constitutional Law knowledge, I would say that that these law suits don’t stand a chance, but I don’t wanna be cocky. We haven’t completely buried the GOP yet, but the Constitution and precedent are pretty much on the side of the President. Makes sense, seeing as he is a crack Constitutional lawyer himself. He would not have signed the thing into law if he didn’t KNOW that it would stand up to such challenges. Still, after 8 years of watching as the former Thug Regime forced the document through the shredder, they might be confused as to the meaning of these amendments and original language.

Quiet as it’s kept, (specifically among the dumbo republicans and their tea partiers) multiple precedents have already been set in terms of the 10th Amendment and State Sovereignty, so the appropriate language is definitely covered in the Constitution. So let them keep looking for that exact wording in the original documents while they hopefully choke on their biscuits. Roe v Wade provides a lesson as well as a precedent on this, though it is not the only one. Other precedents can be found among our Civil Rights Legislation, though I don’t know if that would be an argument/tack the government would choose to follow.

And then there is the far more obvious….ALL of the states filing these lawsuits are recipients of MEDICAID FUNDING, which will increase as a provision of the reform bill. Unless they’re prepared to turn that down, they shouldn’t even bother showing up in court.

But, I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.

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By ofersince72, March 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment

you trying to tell us,  that they didn’t see this
coming weeks ago, if not months ago ???
The Dems loaded the cannons aimed right back at them….
They knew this was coming.
So god awful health care legislation is going to be
tied up in the courts for how long…till 2014?

As another poster said,  constitutionality is not
partisian…...How is anyone still trying to defend this?

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By Tom Richardson, March 23, 2010 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Social Security is constitutional, so I would think that government provided health
care plan is also constitution. It seems completely within the scope of the plain
language of Article 1, Section 8, ‘provide for the ... general welfare’.

Perhaps the mandate is unconstitutional. If so, is it possible that the tea party
AGs could, by causing the invalidation of the mandate, push us into a single payer

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By gerard, March 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Nightmare scenario:  One of these cases makes it up to the Supremes and the judgment comes down 5 to 4—after three or four years of nail-biting anxieties for all concerned—that the recently passed Health Care Bill is unConstitutional because nowhere in that sacred document does it say that Americans are “entitled” to health care.  Then we have to have a Constitutional Convention, and after that, most of us are dead from preventable illnesses caused by exhaustion due to too much organizing, marching, getting tasered, and extraordnarily rended.

Please, everybody, forgive me for treating this very serious matter lightly.  There is just a streak of the devil in me that insists on seeing the sad, funny side of practically everything human. It’s what remains of the “liberal” in me in spite of hell and fairly high water.

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By lichen, March 23, 2010 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment

A republic landslide in 2012=a democratic landslide in 2012; same policy!!

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By idarad, March 23, 2010 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Idaho is full of idiots - what can I say, last month it was a bunch of christian
fundamentalnuts kidnapping Haitian children, now the idiot governor and his
flock of aryans….........  no surprise in the land evolution ignored

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By Xntrk, March 23, 2010 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

I am all for these ‘sour grapes’ lawsuits. Upholding the Constitution is independent of Political Parties or even ideology. Amending it is the Constitutional remedy - Not shedding it for use as toilet paper.

This bill is a poorly constructed gift to The Insurance Industry. That fact alone makes these suits success doubtful given the current Court. Boy, this will cut Scalia to the quick: Give Corporate America yet another chance to lay hands on our wallets; or, cut States Rights off at the knees…

As for all the “All or Nothing” Crew, this is just more evidence that we were right to start with. These lawsuits support our contention that this Bill is bad law from the get-go, and does nothing to provide Universal Health Care in the US.

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By gerard, March 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Now how many all-or-nothing idiots will go along with these sour-grapes repeal movements and thus assure a Republican landslide in 2012, just to “get even with” Obama or Pelosi or Kucinich,  Lieberman must be laughing all the way to his wife’s insurance offices. And all those corporations who are “people”—man, they never had it so good!

It’s hell to be put in the position of supporting something you really don’t support, but that’s where we are, gang.

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