With all the Republican state attorneys general who are challenging the health care bill in court, there is also one Democratic attorney general who is taking heat for not suing — Thurbert Baker of Georgia, who is also currently a candidate for governor, and who now has Republican state legislators calling for his impeachment.
Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, who is term-limited this year, asked Baker to sue the federal government, which Baker then refused. In response, Perdue has appointed a “special attorney general” to mount the lawsuit, anyway. What’s more, some Republican legislators are reportedly moving to impeach Baker, arguing that he was legally required to pursue the lawsuit at the governor’s request.
“I was elected to be the attorney general of this state, to give my best legal advice on these legal questions,” Baker told TPMDC. “And I answered the governor’s question as to whether there was a legal basis to file a lawsuit against the federal government to overturn health care reform. I did what I was supposed to do which is research the law and give my opinion of it.”As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jim Galloway notes, any successful impeachment would be highly unlikely, as it would require a simple majority in the state House and a two-third majority in the state Senate. Republicans control the state legislature, but do not have two-thirds in the Senate. “The numbers argue futility,” Galloway writes.
Perdue is not exactly talking down the impeachment effort. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:
When asked if Baker broke the law by refusing to carry out his instructions to initiate a lawsuit, the governor said, “I think the (state) Constitution is is clear. I think the people of Georgia can make their own determination about that.”
Asked about talk in the state Legislature that Baker should be impeached, the governor said impeachment is a legislative prerogative and declined further comment.