March 25th, 2010
07:33 PM ET
13 years ago

Georgia governor threatens lawsuit against health care bill

(CNN) - Georgia's governor will pursue a lawsuit against the new federal health care bill, even if the state's attorney general refuses to do so, the governor's spokesman said Thursday.

Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, opposes the health care bill because it will add 700,000 Georgians to the Medicaid program and require people to buy health insurance or face a penalty, said Bert Brantley, Perdue's director of communications.

The state's attorney general, Thurbert Baker, a Democrat, had advised Perdue against filing a lawsuit.

"The governor of this state asked me to give my legal opinion to see if there were any legal legs to overturn this health care bill," Baker told CNN on Thursday. "After looking at all the arguments raised around the country and going through analysis, I found that there is simply no legal basis to file a lawsuit."

According to Baker, pursuing a lawsuit would be "a waste of our tax dollars."

Brantley disputed the money issue, telling CNN that "a group of lawyers have come forward to offer their services pro bono to handle the lawsuit."

According to Brantley, Georgia's state constitution allows the governor to appoint another lawyer to act as attorney general if the elected attorney general fails to carry out the wishes of the governor. Brantley said Perdue would announce his plans for moving forward in coming days.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed against the health care bill - one by attorneys general from 13 states and another by the attorney general of Virginia. All but one of the attorneys general involved in those two lawsuits are Republican.

The situation in Georgia is the opposite of the political dynamic in Washington state, where Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire criticized Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for joining in the multiple-state lawsuit and said she would actively oppose it.

Senior administration officials said Wednesday that they believe the health care bill can withstand any constitutional challenges.

- CNN's Tom Cohen contributed to this story

Filed under: Health care • Sonny Perdue
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. tman

    Sonny, Sonny, please go away. We in Georgia have dealt with or endured you for too long.

    March 25, 2010 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  2. Republicans are Americas Taliban

    It will not go anywhere. He has to appoint a special Attorney General to fight this in court because the Attorney General of Georgia REFUSED to file suit because he says it is a waste of taxpeyers money because it lacks any legal merit whatsoever. Nuff Said????

    March 25, 2010 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  3. Perusing-through


    The elected Georgia State Attorney Thurbert Baker made it clear that Georgia's limited money would be wasted to fight a loosing case that has no real merit.


    March 25, 2010 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. marjorie

    I wish our governor was as concerned about our teachers, homeowners, etc in our state of GA rather than just trying to make his name known as one against our President!

    March 25, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  5. Randy

    Before every body gets off on the "you have to buy auto insurance" and "and you have to have home owners insurance". Keep in mind that if you do not own or drive a care or own a house you do not need this insurance. Also keep in mind with auto insurance unless you are making payments you are only required to have liability insurance to take care of other people. Health insurance will be mandatory just for being alive.

    March 25, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  6. Scott, Tucson

    Yeah we're having the same problem with our AG in Arizona, he's a Dem's and doesn't have the backbone to go against his masters in Washington.

    March 25, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. sara

    Since "my AG" won't get in the "gutter" with my agenda....then I will hire someone to go there with me. Sonny Perdue and Georgians should be ashamed. Shame on you Perdue. Stand your ground, Mr. Baker.

    March 25, 2010 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  8. sara

    1 out of 5 Georgians are Uninsured and without Healthcare!

    March 25, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    This governor is a DOPE.....

    March 25, 2010 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  10. Michael

    If, anyone has checked their history; they would know some loonies tried to sue and repeal Social Security, Medicare and even the Civil Rights legislation talking about infringements on States rights! These successionist, anti-government, anti-entitlement and government types, I bet will not tell the government to keep theirs and their families Social Security, Medicare or Disability checks! WHAT HYPOCRITE! FIRST, THEY DEMONIZED TAKING STIMULUS MONEY, THEN WE FIND OUT ALL THOSE REPUGLICANS SPENT IT AND WANTED MORE! I CAN'T BELIEVE AMERICANS ARE THAT STUPID! OKAY EVERYONE MUST GO OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THE SKY IS FALLING! I WAS JUST CHECKING!

    March 25, 2010 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  11. Krysten Peavy

    Sonny Perdue has all the right to fight the healthcare bill. It seems that society is unhappy by this bill. What happened to a government that represents the people? "We the people"? It seems that congress is representing the lobyists who fill their pockets instead of the people who voted them in. The bill goes completely against the rights alloted to the national government by the Constitution. It's disgusting how politicians believe they are helping Americans, when it is just going to cost more money. What about the people who live on fixed incomes? Are they expected to give up a house payment or a meal to pay for a healthcare plan? How are college students and reccent graduates supposed to afford the healthcare with loans and being new to the workforce? Why would the healthy need to have healthcare they aren't going to use?

    March 25, 2010 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  12. Fired Up...Ready to Go!!!

    Gov. Sonny Perdue get back to work! Try to take care of your people during these hard times!

    Nevermind...What do you know about hard times?
    You're sitting pretty with your fundraisers , lies and all.

    You don't deserve this job!

    March 25, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  13. Robert

    I suppose the 700,000 who are added will not have a problem with it however, the Governor should be concerned that may be 700,000 votes he may not get. Perhaps they are not worthy in his eyes?

    March 25, 2010 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  14. diridi

    got bribed by insurance thugs, and corporate greed??? ok, do not be another idiotic thug like typical GOP is passed, enactment..ok,

    March 25, 2010 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Sue

    GREAT job Governor Perdue.

    Of course a DemoRAT would not want you to file a lawsuit.

    March 26, 2010 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
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