Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Frivolous lawsuits

It wasn't that long ago that Republicans were claiming that the true scourge of health care wasn't rapacious insurers or failed markets but rather frivolous lawsuits. For instance, the Republican Minority Leader, Rep. John ("Hell no") Boehner said in October, "let's gid rid of junk lawsuits."

So now that insurance reform has passed, what do the Republicans do? File their own frivolous lawsuit.
The White House says it isn't worried that 13 state attorneys general are suing to overturn the massive health care overhaul, and many legal experts agree the effort is futile.

But the lawsuit, filed in federal court seven minutes after President Barack Obama signed the 10-year, $938 billion health care bill, underscores the divisiveness of the issue and the political rancor that has surrounded it.
Twelve of the attorneys general joing the suit are Republicans, the 13th is a Democrat in a state with a Republican governor.

The suit is unlikely to succeed.
Robert Sedler, a constitutional law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, said the effort isn't going anywhere.

"This is pure, pure political posturing and they have to know it," he said.

...Bruce Jacob, a constitutional law professor at Stetson University in Florida ... said the suit seems like a political ploy and is unlikely to succeed.

"The federal government certainly can compel people to pay taxes, can compel people to join the Army," he said.
The suit's success, however, is hardly the point.

In the lawsuit, the attorneys general argue that "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."

If they were serious about this, they would also be suing the federal government for forcing all U.S. workers to contribute to old-age, socialized medicine.

As Rep. Boehner said, "Let's get rid of junk lawsuits," starting with this one.