Suthers Praises Judge's Decision to take Suit Over Health Overhaul to Trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The attorney general for one of the states challenging the health care overhaul in court is praising today's ruling from a federal judge, who says parts of the challenge should be heard.

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum says it's a "first step" toward "upholding state sovereignty."

He filed the lawsuit just minutes after President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in March.

Although a federal judge in Michigan threw out a similar lawsuit last week, Judge Roger Vinson in Florida said he wants to hear arguments over whether it's constitutional to force citizens to buy health insurance.

He also says there needs to be a ruling on whether states can be required to expand their Medicaid programs.

A political operative who's been guiding White House efforts to explain the benefits of the law, Stephanie Cutter, wrote in a White House blog today that the administration expects to prevail. She described today's ruling as procedural.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers commented on today's court order, saying the health care mandate is a serious constitutional question ultimately worthy of consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Colorado joined this lawsuit because of grave concerns we had about the constitutionally questionable ability of the federal government to penalize private citizens’ economic inactivity,” Suthers said. “This unprecedented expansion of federal power, if upheld, would allow Congress to radically expand its ability to mandate that consumers buy particular good or services the federal government deems beneficial or face financial sanctions. Today’s order underlines that this lawsuit poses a critical question concerning the constitutional limits of federal power. We look forward to the federal appellate courts addressing this matter,” said Suthers.

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