Frivolous HCR lawsuit’s scarce defenders

FRIVOLOUS HCR LAWSUIT’S SCARCE DEFENDERS…. Finding an ambitious, far-right state attorney general willing to waste tax dollars challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is easy. Finding legal experts who think their case has any merit at all is surprisingly difficult.

The University of Washington tried to organize a debate on whether the health-care reform bill is constitutional. But it couldn’t find a law professor to argue that it isn’t, reports the Seattle Times.

“I will say that we tried very hard to get a professor who could come and who thinks this is flat-out unconstitutional,” said the moderator. “But there are relatively few of them, and they are in great demand.”

Even a former Bush/Cheney U.S. attorney was on hand, and he agreed that the Republican litigation not only lacks merit, but should be “seen as a political exercise.”

Elsewhere, however, Republicans continue to take the frivolous lawsuit seriously. In Georgia, for example, state Attorney General Thurbert Baker (D) said he would not waste taxpayer money on the case that no serious person can defend. As of yesterday, 31 Republicans in the state legislature had signed a resolution calling for the AG’s impeachment. Seriously.

“It’s a disappointing response by some members of our legislature,” Baker said. “I don’t think it speaks well for the future of this state or the image of Georgia.”

You don’t say.

As of now, 14 states, thanks to conservative attorneys general with time and public resources to waste, are pushing a lawsuit against the new health care law that even conservative legal experts consider a weak joke. It was 13, but Indiana’s AG signed on this week.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works —and how to make it work better. More than fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.


Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.