augusta free press news

Court: Virginia has standing to sue over health-care reform

A federal judge ruled Monday that the Commonwealth of Virginia does have standing to bring suit to invalidate the federal health-care reform, dismissing the Obama administration’s motion to have the suit brought forward by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli dismissed.

“We are pleased that Judge Hudson agreed that Virginia has the standing to move forward with our suit and that our complaint alleged a valid claim,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.

The Obama administration had argued that Virginia lacked the standing to bring a suit, that the suit is premature, and that the federal government had the power under the U.S. Constitution to mandate that citizens must be covered by government-approved health insurance or pay a monetary penalty.

The Health Care Freedom Act, passed by the Virginia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell earlier this year, is “sufficient to trigger the duty of the Attorney General of Virginia to defend the law and the associated sovereign power to enact it,” Judge Henry Hudson wrote.

“This lawsuit is not about health care, it’s about our freedom and about standing up and calling on the federal government to follow the ultimate law of the land – the Constitution,” Cuccinelli said. “The government cannot draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause.”

“Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has brought forward a specific and narrowly tailored objection to the Act. It warrants a full and thorough hearing in our courts,” Gov. McDonnell said in a statement.

“The requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance or face a penalty is not permitted under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. It would also violate Virginia’s Health Care Freedom Act, which was passed by a bipartisan majority of the Commonwealth’s democratically elected representatives and I signed into law this spring. I congratulate Attorney General Cuccinelli for today’s positive outcome. I look forward to the full hearing this fall.”

A summary judgment hearing is scheduled for October 18, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. to decide if the federal health care law is unconstitutional.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

keywords: health care reform, virginia health care freedom act, ken cuccinelli health care, virginia