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. John

    Waste of time. It will be deemed frivolous law suit.

    Republicans are advised to do something constructive.

    Republicans have not learnt a lesson of 8 years of Bush's failed administration.

    March 25, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I guess Georgia's governor didn't hear our President speak today but he will.

    March 25, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. Ilene

    Ourr wonderful governor strikes again. Not enough money for education, but he can afford lawsuits against something that helps children.

    March 25, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  4. I am the Great and Sociopathic Wizard of Rush and I Say . . .

    Why don't the conservatives complain about the state government wasting our tax dollars on these "frivolous" lawsuits.

    March 25, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Why not include Federal Income Tax to their law suit as well, notwithstanding the Federal Governments mandate to participate in the Social Security Program.....

    March 25, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. A Real American

    Wasn't Governor Perdue against frivolous lawsuits before he was for them?

    The Supremacy Clause and the defeat of the Nullification Doctrine make his lawsuit frivolous, but that won't stop him from wasting taxpayer dollars for a bit of political posturing now, will it?

    March 25, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  7. frank in valparaiso indiana

    God forbid that all those poor whites in Georgia actually get some decent health care, let alone all the colored folks. And we know how the powers that be care about the people down there.

    Once they figure out what a good deal this bill is, bubba may be getting his walking papers and losing his free state supplied mansion.

    March 25, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. usualone

    Interesting that the Republicans are such sore losers they have to file lawsuits which is wasting taxpayers' monies. These governors should have talked with their Senators and Representatives about their concerns way before now. We all pay for those uninsured when they go to our community hospitals and use these facilities as their primary doctors. That is a big portion of the growth in hospital expenses. Also, the uninsured take up the time of being treated while those with insurance have to wait for services in emergency room.s I know this from personal experience.

    March 25, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  9. T'SAH from Virginia

    Wow – so currently there are 700,000 people without Health Care Insurance... So you rather pay for it when they visit the emergency room, huh??? Jeez........ I am having fun with this – I truly enjoy watching how those Americans from those small pockets America truly act FULL BLOWN!!!

    March 25, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. MsDp

    Just when I was thinking GA govenor is a smart cookie, he proved me wrong. But I do believe the GA's citizens should examine GA;s constitution to make sure this govenor is following proper protocol when he oversteps the AG of GA, huh?

    March 25, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. Lori in St Pete

    Ya might want to rethink that sonnyboy. There's a huge political backlash against bill mccollum in Florida. Voters are ticked that in these times of fiscal austerity the rethugliban would use the few precious tax dollars still flowing into state coffers to sue the federal government. Guess who gets stuck with the bill sonnyboy? You guys aren't in any better fiscal shape than anyone else, so if you wish to remain AG or have aspirations of higher office, think about what you're doing.

    March 25, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  12. Ruth

    Another stupid governor who dosen't know what he is talking about.

    March 25, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. sean

    This gov is the same clown that took away high school gaduates scholarship money and now wants to sue the Fed that will cost the state millions. Where is this clown priorities?

    March 25, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  14. Charlie in Maine

    Don't stop there. Why don't you just leave the Union? Honestly I think we have learned our lesson and would let y'all go this time.

    March 25, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. ib

    Go for it. This bill is a disaster for this country and people are to blind to see it. They will realize it when the effects start hitting them. Remember in Nov.

    March 25, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    The party of no wasting their taxpayers' money. I guess that money is well spent, right? Two wars and now this unnecessary court fight.
    How do their followers feel about their money being wasted in yet another useless war?

    March 25, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. annie against biased news

    Go for it Georgia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 25, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. Meka

    If Govenor Perdue has that kind of Financing, maybe he'll GIVE some to the SCHOOL SYSTEM . . . BEFORE THEY CLOSE A FEW SCHOOL'S!

    March 25, 2010 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. JustMe

    Georgia had a chance to opt out and they failed to pass it. There is nothing Sonny can do about this. If he didn't want to be a part of this he should have made sure the opt out passed. Sure the democrats were the majority of who voted for it, but the republicans control the state senate and the state house of representatives in Georgia and therefore, it is ultimately the Republicans who are solely responsible.

    March 25, 2010 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  20. Silvio Garcia

    I don't blame him, I mean pretty soon every unemployed American will not only have to worry about the pretty fast growing high cost of life, they will have to also worry about paying for a so call health plan enforced by the Government.

    March 25, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  21. dan smith

    There is NO Constitutional Authority for the Federal Gov. to make people buy health insurance. Obama and Congressional Democrats have violated Constitutional law and they should all be impeached for doing so.

    March 25, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Ancient Texan

    The more states to join the lawsuit should make the likelihood that the Supreme Court might look at the bill in light of it being unconstitutional. Who knows which way that would go.

    March 25, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  23. dan smith

    Save the CONSTITUTION- Vote out all COMMUNISTS Democrats.

    March 25, 2010 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. JonDie

    Why not spend the money on health care for Georgians instead?

    March 25, 2010 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  25. Me

    I thought the republicans were AGAINST frivolous lawsuits.....what happened to that?

    H Y P O C R I T S

    March 25, 2010 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
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