April 7th, 2010
06:47 PM ET
13 years ago

Five states join lawsuit against health care bill

(CNN) - Five more states - Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada and Arizona - on Wednesday joined 13 others in a lawsuit against the historic overhaul of the U.S. health care system signed into law last month by President Barack Obama, the Texas attorney general announced.

The lawsuit initially filed by Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota and Washington argues that the legislation's requirement that individuals buy health insurance violates the Constitution.

It calls the health care bill an "unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of the states" and asks a judge to block its enforcement.

"The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage," the lawsuit states.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last month that the Obama administration expected to win any legal challenge to the health care bill.

Legal experts say the lawsuit is unlikely to succeed.

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

"If the federal courts follow existing precedents of the United States Supreme Court, I don't think that the claims will be successful," Landers told CNN last month.

Separately, legislatures in three dozen states are considering proposed measures aimed at blocking elements of the health care bill. But Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Texas, said the Constitution says laws passed by Congress trump state laws.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. dustin

    Well if those states want to waste tax payer money on these lawsuits, so be it.

    April 7, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  2. D

    The sovereignty of states? What a crock of ****. How about PEOPLE? Besides, sovereignty does not apply to states in this sense (it does in the sense of countries). Whether this bill violates the 10th amendment is a different question (and I'm confident that the answer is NO, it doesn't). But that's still not sovereignty by semantical stretch.

    April 7, 2010 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. Ted McKee

    You would think that with so many states in big financial trouble,
    Arizona in particular, where I live, they would want to spend their
    time, energy and money to improve their dire fiscal situations
    rather than waste theri time and little time they have on an
    unwinnable lawsuit. They have instead eliminated all-day
    kindergarten to save money. Where the hell are their priorities?
    No wonder citizens are so upset with the state and federal
    goverment who seem to be more interested in winning political
    points than helping their constituents.

    April 7, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Independent

    These States need money and they are wasting money fighting what they will not win.

    April 7, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I'm not a lawyer, but The Constitution does not directly allow for MOST laws we live by. What it does allow for is Congress to make laws to protect the citizens of the country.
    These State's Attorney's Generals are wasting money and playing politics in the name of state's rights at a time when these same state's are complaining about government spending and facing financial hardship.
    To the people of these states: hold the Governors and AG's responsible for this waste of money and vote them out of office.

    April 7, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. I am Newt Limebaugh

    How many of these states are controlled by the GOP?????

    This rabble sounds like the talk before the Civil War......what idiots...sue the government...I thought you wanted the government out...now you want Big Gov in the middle of your business

    April 7, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Jeff - Sarasota, FL

    "The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage," the lawsuit states.

    So where in the Constitution does it say you have to have Auto Insurance... The states force you have it it to drive, and they claim driving is a priviledge, yet if you choose not to have a car and drive you still have to pay road tax and all the other taxes associated with driving... so how is it any different and if the states win does that mean we don't have to have auto insurance anymore as it isn't in the Constitution either...

    Kinda makes ya go hmmmmmmmm...

    April 7, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. dale in indiana

    does this mean that it's unconstitutional to mandate car insurance in these same states and that the republican back health insurance in the state of massachusetts has been illegal. should the citizens demand being paid back.

    April 7, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. willard bullock

    Gibbs are wrong keep his too big mouth

    April 7, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Rush

    OK, then the GOP should follow this up by passing a law granting hospitals permission to deny treatment to anybody who doesn't have coverage.

    You can't refuse to buy coverage, and the demand free treatment when you get sick/hurt (which everybody eventually does). You just can't have it both ways. The money HAS to come from somewhere.

    April 7, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. ran

    Just more of the fear/hate/obstructionism/purity ideology of the Republicans.

    We need to send a clear message in 2010 that enough is enough of this type of ideology by electing either a true Democrat or Independent.

    April 7, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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