April 6th, 2010
06:20 PM ET
5 years ago

Pawlenty to file lawsuit against health care law

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that he will contest the new federal health care law.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that he will contest the new federal health care law.

(CNN) - Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minnesota, announced Tuesday he intends to file suit against the new federal health care law.

Critics of the law argue that its requirement for individuals to buy health insurance violates the Constitution.

"The federal government is now requiring citizens under penalty of a fine to buy a good or a service, and we think that's an unprecedented overreach by the federal government into the lives of individual citizens," the governor said following a meeting on education reform.

Pawlenty, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, did not say whether he will pursue his own lawsuit or join legal challenges from 14 attorneys general filed last month.

Related: States sue to block health care bill

"At this time, he is considering his options," Brian McClung, the governor's spokesperson, told CNN.

Democratic National Committee Press Secretary Hari Sevugan said in a statement Tuesday that the governor's lawsuit is, "Yet another political ploy by Pawlenty to pander to the radical right-wing of his party."

The Republican governor's remarks come a day after Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, informed Pawlenty that she would not file suit on behalf of the state.

"I have determined that a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota against the United States of America is not warranted and, accordingly, I will not be filing such a lawsuit," Swanson wrote in a letter to the governor.

Swanson added that she will file an amicus brief in support of the United States, "to set forth what I believe to be a correct reading of the Constitution."

Renee Landers, a law professor at Suffolk University in Massachusetts, recently told CNN that the Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate commerce and promote the general welfare of Americans.

Swanson and Pawlenty are not the first attorney general and governor to butt heads over health care. Last month Georgia's Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, said he would pursue litigation against the new health care law, even though his state's attorney general, a Democrat, advised him not to.


Filed under: Health care • Minnesota • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. 'RUB' THE CLOWN

    As it is, we do not turn people away at the emergency room. People who don't have insurance are taking a risk, and when it doesn't work out, the TAXPAYER foots the bill at the most expensive venue. Of course, we could forget the Good Samaritan story and have people die in the gutter, if that's what Pawlenty prefers. The public option would have negated this new "concern," about the government forcing people to use the private sector, but Republicans were uniformly against that idea. This is their next gimmick – hoping the Roberts court steps in again with judicial activism. These guys are really dishonest.

    April 6, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  2. andrew

    tell pawlenty and the gop that if they dont want this, then they can cover the costs of those uninsured who still go to the hospital and still get treated, and then bill those who already have insurance. Good plan!!!

    April 6, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Pawlently needs to realize there are some risk you take in life but not this one, it will bury him alive.

    April 6, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Pragmatic

    Pawlenty’s leadership has taken the state of Minnesota from having a financial surplus to having a $5 billion dollar deficit.

    He attempted to cut social programs serving the poorest citizens-those with mental illness, homeless, the working poor with no insurance but proposed corporate and small business tax cuts even as the state struggles to keep services like, state parks, schools.

    Now he wants to waste your time and your taxpayer dollars on foolish lawsuits: it's called "nullification" and was ruled unconstitutional under Andrew Jackson! Next thing you know, he'll be pretending to be Alf Landon in 1936 – running on "repeal" ... now how well did that work out?

    April 6, 2010 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    Good for you Gov. Tim Pawlenty!

    April 6, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Observant

    Does this mean that all Republican Governors are not willing to sit down with President Obama to examine alternate ways to off-set any financial constraints the states will incur due to Health Insurance Reform? Or is it that Republicans have "No Ideas" , and will be relying on the courts to give them a pass as it did on campaign fund raising.

    We middle Americans are tired. We want civility back in our governments!!! Stop it with the courts already.

    April 6, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  7. Shelly

    Of course who cares about the 50 million people without HC? Who wants all children to have HC? We all want folks with pre existing conditions to be denied coverage ? Why should we get free Preventative care? Why should we Americans care about our other fellow men, women and children? Obviously the Republicans DON'T care!!!

    April 6, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  8. CHANGE.COM

    Political grandstanding at best. All the lawsuits have no legal standing and are a complete waste of public funds from the states that are struggling to meet their budgetary obligations. What a shame!

    April 6, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. Elise from Virginia

    Oh yes, just what we need is money we don't have being spent for ridiculous lawsuits which are being filed as one more grand gesture on the part of a political party. How is this different from car insurance, which nobody seems to be squawking about? Why isn't that a violation of the constitution? Gods, I am so sick of this garbage.

    April 6, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Four and The Door

    Renee Landers, a law professor at Suffolk University in Massachusetts, recently told CNN that the Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate commerce and promote the general welfare of Americans.
    ________________________________________________________
    ...and apparently it also gives Congress and The Administration the power to make really bad decisions regardless of what the population wants or needs. Obama took advantage of this!

    April 6, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
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