Home Virginia Politics Cooch’s Health Care Lawsuit: No “Standing,” No Clue

Cooch’s Health Care Lawsuit: No “Standing,” No Clue


If there was any doubt that Ken Cuccinelli is wasting the Attorney General’s office’s time and resources (aka, Virginia taxpayer dollars) on his frivolous lawsuit against health care reform, I’ve got some material for him to read.

Specifically, I refer Cooch to this:

…neither of the courts handling these cases, nor any other federal court, is likely to address-let alone resolve-the merits of the issue in the context of an attorney general’s lawsuit. Instead, these cases are all but sure to be promptly tossed out of court for procedural reasons obvious to a first-year law student.

The first problem is that state governments are the wrong plaintiffs to challenge the individual insurance mandate. No state will ever have to pay a penny in taxes or be told to take out health insurance: The law applies only to individuals. The attorneys general might have attempted to plug this gap by adding individual plaintiffs to their complaints. But even if they found those people, the AGs couldn’t sue on their behalf right now, because the mandate does not take effect until 2014. Between now and then, all kinds of things could cause plaintiffs to lose their standing to sue: Their health could deteriorate and they could actually need health insurance; they might get a job with health benefits; or they might just have a change of heart. Any or all of these contingencies are quite likely, if a Massachusetts state government survey showing that only 2.6 percent of Massachusetts residents do not comply with the mandatory insurance requirement in that state’s law is any indication. In lawyers’ language, not only will the state attorneys general never have standing to bring these claims on their own; even the claims of real individuals are not yet “ripe.”

So, no “standing,” not yet “ripe,” utterly clueless. Other than that, Cooch’s lawsuit is a great idea! Heh.

By the way, I checked with Chap Petersen – a far better attorney than Ken Cuccinelli will ever be, and that is not meant as a “backhanded compliment” –  and he said “I agree with it in respect to the fact that the Fed law does not take effect til 2014 so the issue is not yet ripe.” Chap added that, “[i]n the meantime, the requirement could be amended or repealed — or the state law (like Virginia’s) that prohibits the requirement could be repealed.” In other words, Cooch’s lawsuit is premature from a legal perspective and should be promptly thrown out of court. If only we could throw Cooch out office for gross incompetence and overall insanity…


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