Passing health care reform may have sometimes seemed like a circus. The shenanigans surrounding lawsuits attempting to declare it unconstitutional are starting to look like the sideshow.
Lawsuits are popping up in 15 states, dividing top officials and creating confusion among citizens who want to know how their Medicaid may change. But they also have thrust attorneys general seeking higher office and national notoriety into the spotlight. There have been calls for a Constitutional convention, impeachment and even Twitter throwdowns.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox (R) tweeted last night that Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) was wrong that he was backing down from the lawsuit.He wrote:
“Gov says I’m “backing off” my lawsuit against Obamacare. Huh? Maybe she didn’t watch Greta? 🙂 http://bit.ly/bP0Nin. See you in court!”
Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) wanted in on the lawsuit, but Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) balked. Now, two Nevada residents filed a complaint against Masto.
“Ms. Masto is aware that over 58 percent of legal Americans are opposed to the health care bill, yet she refuses to hear the people or our governor’s voices … She was elected to represent the people and is refusing to do so,” Dianne Humble, a member of the Indian Hills General Improvement District board, wrote in a complaint, according to the Record Courier.
Gibbons is considering going solo with a private attorney, he said on Fox News last night. “I’ve taken an oath as governor to protect people of Nevada, so I’m obligated to try to sue the federal government over health care,” he said.
Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) also is going that route, announcing last week he’ll join without support from the Democratic governor or attorney general.
Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D) is facing impeachment by the Republican legislature for not suing over health care
Baker said on MSNBC yesterday he will not relent from his stance and said he’s being targeted for speaking the truth. “There is nothing in our laws that requires the attorney general to file a frivolous lawsuit,” he said.
South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) said on Fox this week he has “a surefire way” to stop the health care bill from being instated — another Constitutional Convention.
He even sent a letter to the South Carolina General Assembly asking for support for a resolution to call a convention, where the states will “make amendment to the constitution to reverse the dangerous action taken by Obama and Congress.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) said on Fox last night that he’s suing because he feels he has a duty to protect the state’s citizens “regardless” of what Gov. Ed Rendell (D) thinks.
In Virginia, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) refused a request for documents related to his health care lawsuit, which is not part of the multi-state challenge. Democrats sought the documents in an attempt to prove Cuccinelli is wasting taxpayer funds on a frivolous lawsuit.
The Times-Dispatch reports that the newly elected attorney general said the suit “was being done in-house and said costs would be minimal beyond the $350 fee to file the suit in U.S. District Court.”
Baker, appearing on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show last night, mocked Cuccinelli’s claims that it would cost so little. “I can’t see how we could do this, even in-house, in a way that wouldn’t cost a ton of money and pull our lawyers off of other cases,” he said.
Additional reporting by Jillian Rayfield, Lucy Madison, Nick Broten and Michael Sweeney.