Sen. Max Baucus explains why Ken Cuccinelli’s argument has no merit. Here’s an excerpt:
I refer my colleagues to an article by Mark Hall, law professor at Wake Forest University. Professor Hall’s article is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed analysis of the constitutionality of a Federal individual responsibility requirement.
In it, Professor Hall concludes that there are no plausible Tenth Amendment or States’ rights issues arising from the imposition by Congress of an individual responsibility to maintain health coverage.
Professor Hall notes further that health care and health insurance both affect and are distributed through interstate commerce. And that gives Congress the power to legislate a coverage requirement using its Commerce Clause powers.
In other words, what Ken Cuccinelli is doing here is simply wasting everyone’s time and money. He’s also engaging in right-wing “judicial activism” of the sort he’d usually decry when the shoe is on the other foot. In this case, it’s apparently ok, given that Cooch wants to push his own ideological agenda — whether on health care, the environment, abortion, homosexuality, or anything else. Yeah, this is going to be a long four years.
UPDATE: The Democratic Party of Virginia has issued a statement. See after the “flip.” Thanks.
UPDATE #2: Bob McDonnell is 100% on board with Crazy Cooch. Is anyone surprised?
Yesterday, we witnessed a historic occasion: Congress passed the first comprehensive health care bill in American history. Thanks to this courageous action, Virginians — and all Americans — will be guaranteed high-quality, affordable health coverage.
Under this new bill, Virginians with pre-existing conditions will no longer be subject to insurance discrimination, Virginia small businesses will get tax credits to provide health care, and Virginia seniors will no longer fall victim to the Medicare ‘donut hole’ for needed prescriptions.
President Obama and our Congressional leaders deserve credit for this historic reform that will help thousands of Virginians. And this wouldn’t have happened without the strong and steady efforts of Virginia grassroots activists, including netroots, labor and advocacy organizations.
Unfortunately, our Republican state leaders like Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell are busy trying to throw up road blocks to reform.
The Office of the Attorney General should be the people’s law firm, not the piggy bank for Ken Cuccinelli’s political agenda. Attorney General Cuccinelli continues to waste Virginia taxpayers’ money at a record rate. Cuccinelli was elected to represent all Virginians as the state’s top lawyer, but instead he’s using our tax dollars to represent only the extreme political fringe of the Republican Party.
Ken Cuccinelli hasn’t lifted a finger to help Virginians struggling with unemployment, home foreclosures and predatory loans. Instead, he has filed two frivolous lawsuits against the federal government and tried to impose his political agenda on state colleges’ and universities’ non-discrimination statutes.
The Attorney General knows that this health care lawsuit is nothing but political theater. He ought to get back to doing the people’s business, and stop wasting our money.