Virginia AG moving forward on ObamaCare lawsuit

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is promptly moving forward as promised with a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the ObamaCare bill passed last night by the House. I swell with pride knowing that my state is now leading the charge against a growing federal bureaucracy and I support this move 100%.

The crux of this lawsuit is a bill passed by the Virginia legislature and signed by Governor Bob McDonnell which outlaws a federal mandate forcing an individual to purchase any form of insurance. I’m not a legal scholar so I don’t know if the merit will stand but it will be interesting to watch. Keep in mind even the Democrat-controlled Virginia Senate overwhelming passed this bill meaning it had bipartisan state-level support.

Video statement from Cuccinelli’s office:

The full Press Release:

RICHMOND (March 22, 2010) – Statement from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli after the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Senate’s health care bill:

“The Office of the Attorney General of Virginia will move forward with our lawsuit against the federal government and its unconstitutional overreach of its authority with the passage of the federal health care bill. We will file our complaint with the court as soon as the president signs it into law.

“With this law, the federal government will force citizens to buy health insurance, claiming it has the authority to do so because of its power to regulate interstate commerce. We contend that if a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person – by definition – is not engaging in commerce, and therefore, is not subject to a federal mandate.

“Virginia is in a unique situation that allows it the standing to file such a suit since Virginia is the only state so far to pass a law protecting its citizens from a government-imposed mandate to buy health insurance. The health care reform bill, with its insurance mandate, creates a conflict of laws between the federal government and Virginia. Normally, such conflicts are decided in favor of the federal government, but because we believe the federal law is unconstitutional, Virginia’s law should prevail.

“Just being alive is not interstate commerce. If it were, there would be no limit to the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause and to Congress’s authority to regulate everything we do. There has never been a point in our history where the federal government has been given the authority to require citizens to buy goods or services.

“While we believe the health care reform bill the House just voted on suffers from constitutional problems, we do want to thank Speaker Pelosi for not trying to enact the bill through the questionable “deem and pass” procedure. By requiring an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, she is living up to the letter of Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution. As someone who is sworn to protect the Constitution, she did the right thing in that regard.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled in other cases that Congress cannot regulate non-commercial activities. In United States v. Lopez (1995) and United States v. Morrison (2000), the Supreme Court struck down attempts to regulate non-commercial activities based upon their predicted effects on interstate commerce because those attempts went beyond the outer limits of the Commerce Clause.

The suit will be filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division.

The fascinating part about this is the question of whether the federal government can force anyone to engage in interstate commerce. If I decide not to buy health insurance, how am I engaging in interstate commerce? If I am, therefore, not engaging in interstate commerce unless I choose to purchase, how can the federal government regulate what I have not chosen to engage in? Beyond that, how can the federal government force me to buy insurance so they can regulate it? There is no basis for such insanity.

Very interesting legal waters and I applaud Cuccinelli for his defense of personal liberty.

  • JD

    Nate – “If I decide not to buy health insurance, how am I engaging in interstate commerce? If I am, therefore, not engaging in interstate commerce unless I choose to purchase, how can the federal government regulate what I have not chosen to engage in? Beyond that, how can the federal government force me to buy insurance so they can regulate it?”

    The understanding is that if you choose not to buy insurance then Yes you are not engaging in commerce but you will be if something were to happen to you. Involuntarily the government is forced to pick up the check for medical bills you are not able to pay. It is really a roll of the dice on this.

    So if the government(the people) have to pick up your tab because you were wreckless enough not to buy insurance then, I guess, government feels they should have say in the matter. In Texas we are forced to have to buy car insurance in order to drive. Same Mandate for the same reasons.

    However, I fully understand your arguement on whether National Government should be allowed to give this kind of mandate or if it is a state right.

  • Bill Hedges

    Last time I heard 37 State are considering different legislative and legal recourse.

    You drive a car you have to buy insurance to cover the other person not you. If your car is not paid for you must buy insurance for the bank.

    A person must buy insurance for a ‘what if’? People are sued by hospitals for debts.

    Hospitals are not paid by government for bad debts of patients. Is cost of doing business. They raise prices of their service to make up.

  • “In Texas we are forced to have to buy car insurance in order to drive. Same Mandate for the same reasons.”

    Not the same since you could leave Texas and go to Florida where there is no requirement to purchase car insurance. Try escaping the newly empowered IRS under ObamaCare.

    The government cannot regulate what may or may not happen to me in the future, it is not constitutional nor is it moral. You are handing the federal government the power to regulate what you do simply because you exist. This is cradle to grave nanny state nonsense.

    The legitimate 12 million people who want insurance but can’t afford it could have been insured for a fraction of this cost without starting a new bankrupt government program. MediCaid was designed to be doing what ObamaCare is supposed to do yet it is bankrupt and failing. We are now doubling down on this failure with an even larger epic failure.

    The tab will only be “picked up” by the government if I fit into the cost-benefit analysis since the care will be rationed.

    The government programs such as Medicare, the VA, Medicaid and SCHIP all turn down treatment for people because they ration care. Preexisting conditions do not matter when the government decides who is cost effective enough to treat.

    The constitution has been shredded by Democrats and they cheered it all the way down. Sickening.

    JD, I am willing to offer you amnesty for your past transgressions of misguided liberal thought. This is your one chance to enter the fold of those wishing to restore liberty and repeal this bill.

  • One more thing, this is a good quote:

    “The Constitution gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, not to force individuals to purchase items from that commerce. And let’s not forget that no interstate commerce in health insurance exists, thanks to Congress keeping people from buying that insurance across state lines.”

    You can’t buy insurance over state lines under present law which means it is impossible to have interstate commerce.

  • JD

    Nate – “JD, I am willing to offer you amnesty for your past transgressions of misguided liberal thought. This is your one chance to enter the fold of those wishing to restore liberty and repeal this bill.”

    Thanks for the offer of Amnesty. As I said in my response, “I fully understand your arguement on whether National Government should be allowed to give this kind of mandate (making you buy insurance) or if it is a state right”.

    As far as interstate commerce, your quote is incorrect.

    Insurance companies do business in many different states. It would be like Hewlett Packard selling completely different computers to each state and then saying it isn’t subject to interstate rules. Just because the product changes from state to state doesn’t mean the company does. Hense the interstate commerce arguement.

    I am not saying I am one way or another but, simply, saying interstate commerce debate is there. Rightfully or wrongfully.

    Again, the simple fact that we can’t buy insurance from other states says that our interstate commerce is being regulated already.

  • D.D.Mao

    JD…….I have a better comparison for you than the auto insurance one you gave.Why does the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REQUIRE EACH OF US TO BUY A GM PRODUCT? They own it why not make us buy their product?

  • D.D.Mao

    A THOUGHT:

    DON’T BE SURPRISED IF PRESIDENT OBAMA ASKED(?)JUSTICE GINSBURG OR STEVENS TO RETIRE (THEY BOTH LEAN LEFT AND HAVE HEALTH ISSUES)SO THAT HE CAN APPOINT A YOUNGER,HEALTHIER MORE LIBERAL JUSTICE. LOOKING DOWN THE ROAD WITH THESE COURT CASES.HE ASKED CONGRESS TO FALL ON THE SWORD FOR HIS LEGACY WHY NOT A LIBERAL MEMBER OF THE COURT?

  • D.D.Mao

    AN INTERESTING SITE:

    http://www.firenancypelosi.com

  • D.D.Mao

    Opps !My first post with the question to JD should have read:

    “Why DOESN’T the federal government require each of us to buy a GM product?”

  • D.D.Mao

    On 22nd of March 1765 (yes 245 years ago yesterday)Britian imposed the STAMP ACT ON THE AMERICAN COLONIES!

    SOUNDS LIKE TIME FOR MORE TEA PARTIES!

  • DD Mao, that would make for interesting news, more tea parties that is

  • http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/legislative/house/2010-03-24-threats_N.htm

    House Dems report vandalism, threats

    WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating acts of vandalism and a death threat aimed at Democrats who voted for the health care legislation.

    A freshman Democrat from Virginia reported that a gas line had been severed at his brother’s home, and two congresswomen — one in New York and another in Arizona — said windows at their district offices were smashed.

    “A significant number, meaning more than 10” members received threats, said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and officials from the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police talked with House Democrats Wednesday about how to protect themselves. Hoyer and other Democrats said the incidents may have been the work of angry opponents of the health care legislation, which President Obama signed Tuesday.

    I guess when the anti health care reform media gets the country riled up this is what we get. I wonder how bad it will get before things calm down. Will there be murder? Gas line cut? Wow….

  • http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/03/24/health.care.main/?hpt=T1

    Senate Dems defeat initial GOP attacks on health care ‘fixes’ bill

    “Also Wednesday, Democratic senators complained that Republicans had shut down committee hearings for a second straight day as part of a strategy of obstruction in protest of the health care bill.

    Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, told a news conference the GOP tactic was delaying work on vital issues.

    “It’s unconscionable,” said Levin, who as chairman of the Armed Services Committee was supposed to conduct a hearing with a top U.S. military commander in Korea who had flown in for the hearing. “Out national security cannot be held hostage to disagreements over a health care policy.”

    McCaskill had planned an oversight hearing on problems with contracts to train local police departments in Afghanistan. She said the Senate rule that allows the minority party to block committee action was “really dumb” and should be dropped.

    “Disagree with us, debate us, vote no,” she said. “But to use a rule to stop us from working — that dog just doesn’t hunt from where I come from. That doesn’t even makes sense. That’s why people in American think we are clueless here.””

    So since republicans are mad about health care reform passing they are going to play the “Hold my breath” or “Silent treatment” on other issues until they get what they want? LoL

  • Bill Hedges

    “Senate will have to return health bill to House.”

    WASHINGTON – “Senate Republicans learned early Thursday that they will be able to kill language in a measure altering President Barack Obama’s newly enacted health care overhaul, meaning the bill will have to return to the House for final congressional approval.”

    “It appeared initially that deleting the provisions, dealing with Pell grants for low-income students, should not cause major problems for Democrats hoping to rush the bill to Obama and avoid prolonging what has been a politically painful ordeal for the party. Democrats described the situation as a minor glitch, but did not rule out that Republicans might be able to remove additional sections of the bill.”

    …“Republicans consulting with the chamber’s parliamentarian had found “two minor provisions” that violate Congress’ budget rules.”

    “Republicans have been hunting for such violations in hopes of bringing down the legislation. Democrats had also been consulting with the parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, and hoped they had written a measure that would not be vulnerable to such problems.”

    “It kills part of the new statute uniquely giving Nebraska extra Medicaid funds — designed to lure support from that state’s Sen. Ben Nelson — that had become a glaring embarrassment to Democrats.”

    “Democrats also deflected GOP amendments rolling back the health law’s Medicare cuts; killing extra Medicaid funds for Tennessee and other state-specific spending; barring tax increases for families earning under $250,000; and requiring the president and other administration officials to purchase health care from exchanges the statute creates.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100325/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul

    Republicans following the wishes of the people, as shown in nearly every poll, is doing their best to stop this legislation.

    14 State Attorney Generals have, with more expected, filed law suites.

  • jay alt

    A better description would be ‘moving backward.’ There were lots of lawsuits in the same places after Brown vs Board of Education. This won’t work either.

  • Bill Hedges

    jay alt

    Off hand I don’t remember or know the case. Could you explain furture ?