Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Zoeller Readies Legal Challenge to ObamaCare

From the email bag:

Attorney General reviewing options for legal challenge to health care bill
Constitutionality questionable, so courts should review legislation, Zoeller says

INDIANAPOLIS – Now that the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the federal health care bill, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he is considering the options available for legal challenges to the legislation.

Zoeller and a group of other state attorneys general nationwide have expressed concern that the federal health care legislation may be an infringement upon individual rights and state sovereignty. The Attorney General’s Office is studying the legal options available to Indiana for possible legal challenges.

"There are significant constitutional questions regarding the federal government's authority raised by the legislation passed Sunday. I believe it is necessary that these ultimately be brought before the United States Supreme Court; and as Indiana Attorney General I will join in the most appropriate legal actions available to represent the significant interests of our state in this matter," Zoeller said.

In February, at the request of U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Zoeller prepared a 55-page report and legal analysis on the Senate version of the health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Among other things, the Attorney General’s report to Lugar found that the bill’s individual mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance or face a penalty would be unprecedented; never before has the federal government required Americans to purchase any good or service as a condition of U.S. residency.

The U.S. House on Sunday passed the Senate version of the health care bill and forwarded it on to President Obama, and at the same time the House also passed a series of clean-up measures to the bill that would be voted on again by the U.S. Senate.

State attorneys general in at least 13 other states have indicated they intend to file a legal challenge to the federal health care legislation due to the questions about its constitutionality.

Attorney General Zoeller’s February 5 report to Senator Lugar on the Senate version of the health care bill is found here.

A February 5 news release summarizing the report to Lugar is found here.

Zoeller will be joining (perhaps not officially in a joint case as yet, but in common cause) with attorneys general from a dozen states.

Virginia is suing in one case. Florida and nine other states (South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Pennsylvania, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota and Alabama) are suing in another. With Indiana, that's 12 states so far, and there might be others that I've missed in my quick search.