FROM NO RESPONSE AT ALL TO OUTSPOKEN STATES’ RIGHTS DEFENDERS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Mar. 22, 2010) — Reaction to the passage of the health care bill by the states ranged from nothing to the promise of a lawsuit enjoined by other states against the Congress for overstepping its constitutional authority.
The Maryland attorney general’s press person seemed surprised when asked if the attorney general would be issuing a statement. The only response was “No…no.” New Jersey’s AG will not be issuing a statement. The North Carolina AG’s press contact said that the AG “is thinking about it.” The phone lines were overloaded in Georgia and Maine, and no one answered at all in Massachusetts.
New Hampshire’s AG press contact was not in today, but his voice mail was accessible.
Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, issued a statement late in the day which reads, in part: “As a supporter of health care reform, I commend congress for adopting a health care bill — a historic step toward fairness and access for all in need of critical care and coverage.” However, Blumenthal concluded with “I have received no official request from an authorized state official to challenge federal health care legislation — but we will review such a request if we receive it.”
Blumenthal is a candidate for the Senate, replacing Christopher Dodd, who is retiring. Today Connecticut’s governor, M. Jodi Rell, called the bill “a shameful exercise in democracy,” also stating, “We’re the ones left to figure out the bill, see if it can work and determine how much it will cost. This I can tell you: Connecticut, like nearly every other state, cannot afford millions and billions in costs that Washington passes along. It’s that simple.” Rell is not seeking re-election this November.
If the legislation stands, Connecticut would benefit by receiving $100,000,000 for “direct construction or renovation of, a health care facility.”
The attorney general of North Dakota issued a statement which concluded with “Even the supporters of the legislation concede the measure contains serious flaws. Whether some of those admitted flaws give rise to a legally defensible constitutional challenge requires a thoughtful legal analysis. As Attorney General of North Dakota, I will not be making a final decision in that regard until after that process has been completed.”
Patrick Lynch, Attorney General of Rhode Island, issued a statement which opens with “Current talk of suing federal government is political posturing and premature in regard to final Health Care Bill.” Lynch contended that “there is no new Health Care Bill yet.”
Kenneth Cuccinelli, AG of Virginia, announced today that he would be filing a lawsuit. Jon Bruning, Attorney General of Nebraska and President of the National Association of Attorneys General, will also be suing. According to The New York Times, “Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington” will also be filing suit.
The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, has asked her state’s attorney general, Terry Goddard, “to join the attorneys general of at least 13 other states in their review of the legality of the federal health care bill.” Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota has asked Attorney General Lori Swanson to do the same.
On March 22, 1765, Britain imposed the Stamp Act on the colonies. “This act placed a tariff on virtually every form of printed matter, including newspapers and playing cards. The Stamp Act by itself may not have been a catalyst to revolution, but combined with the previous year’s Sugar Act and the subsequent Quartering Act, the effect was to provoke riots and open rebellion…”