AUGUSTA, Maine, January 12, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – More attorneys general of U.S. states are joining the legal fight against the new federal health care law, which requires all U.S. individuals to buy health insurance and opens the door for massive subsidies to abortion providers.
Attorneys general in Kansas, Ohio, Wyoming, and Wisconsin have requested to join the lawsuit filed by 20 other state attorneys general led by Florida attorney general (AG) Bill McCollum against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
The new Republican attorney general for Maine says he is also getting ready to have the state join the Florida-led lawsuit.
“I know that health care system in general is in a crisis, but I don’t want to see that fix rest upon an unconstitutional foundation,” Attorney General William Schneider said Tuesday, according to Maine’s Sun Journal.
Schneider was elected in last November’s Republican electoral wave that wrested the state House from the Democrats. He said he was exploring options and that a decision would be made soon.
Among the possible options is whether to simply submit an amicus brief or to ask a federal judge to join the 20 state lawsuit. If Maine jumps on board, that means half of the states in the United States have filed legal challenges objecting to the constitutionality of the PPACA.
Underscoring opposition to the federal health care law, the Sun Journal reported that one GOP lawmaker, Rep. Rich Cebra submitted a state bill that would prohibit state and federal agencies from enforcing the law, and impose jail time and fines of up to $5,000.
“It’s a violation of our 10th Amendment,” Cebra said. “The federal government doesn’t have a right to mandate that individuals purchase something.”
Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, is filing a separate lawsuit with a federal judge in Oklahoma.
Like Virginia, Oklahoma is filing its own lawsuit on account of a state law that prohibits its citizens from being forced to carry health insurance.
Last November, Oklahoma citizens passed State Question 756 in a referendum, amending the constitution in a way that directly conflicts with the individual mandate of the PPACA.
In Virginia, the General Assembly enacted a statute before the passage of the PPACA that also forbade any citizen of Virginia from being forced to carry health insurance.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond ruled in favor of Virginia in their lawsuit last month, agreeing that Congress had no authority under the Constitution to mandate individuals buy health insurance or pay a fine to the federal government. That provision is the linchpin of the national health care reform law.
So far President Obama’s administration has won two lawsuits out of the three in which federal judges have issued rulings. But the score could soon be even.
Last month during oral arguments at the federal court house in Pensacola, Florida, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson seemed to lean in favor of the arguments brought by the states against the federal government that the individual mandate was an overreach of Congress’s authority.
“It would be a giant leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is tantamount to activity,” Vinson said.
Lawmakers in Missouri are also pressing for their Democrat attorney general to jump on board the McCollum lawsuit, citing a constitutional amendment passed by Missouri voters in 2010. Proposition C forbids the federal government from forcing the state’s citizens to purchase health insurance and forbids the federal government from penalizing those who fail to purchase insurance as required by the PPACA.
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution Tuesday by 115-46, urging the attorney general and state officials to sue the federal government over the PPACA. House lawmakers are hoping the Senate follows suit, in order to put pressure on the attorney general.
St. Louis Public Radio reports that a spokesman said Attorney General Chris Koster is currently “monitoring the situation in both chambers.”