My Name is Sue
Submitted By Todd on March 23rd at 10:29pm
Now, to the courts.
Virginia's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care reform law has formally been filed. Within five minutes of President Obama signing the bill at a White House ceremony this morning, state solicitor general E. Duncan Getchell Jr. and Deputy Attorney General for Civil Litigation "Wes" Russell Jr. headed to the elevators of their sixth-floor office in Richmond and strolled outside, where they were greeted by television cameras, for the short walk to Richmond's federal courthouse.We will be getting more familiar with the Commerce and the General Welfare clauses of the Constitution over the next several months.
The suit argues that the legislation's mandate that individuals purchase health insurance exceeds the federal government's power to regulate interstate commerce under the U.S. Constitution. And it asserts that Virginia has standing to sue over the issue because of a new state law that prohibits the mandate in the state. "The collision between the state and federal schemes also creates an immediate, actual controversy involving antagonistic assertions of right," Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli writes in the suit. "The status of being a citizen or resident of the Commonwealth of Virginia is not a channel of interstate commerce; nor a person or thing in interstate commerce; nor is it an activity arising out of or connected with a commercial transaction. Instead, the status arises from an absence of commerce, not from some sort of economic endeavor, and it is not even a non-economic activity affecting interstate commerce. It is entirely passive," the suit reads. "While the United States Supreme Court has not adopted a categorical rule against aggregating the effects of any non-economic activity in order to find Commerce Clause authority, thus far in our history, it has never been held that the Commerce Clause, even when aided by the Necessary and Proper Clause, can be used to require citizens to buy goods or services."