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UPDATED: Cuccinelli to file suit 'as soon as the ink is dry' on health-care signature

Rosalind Helderman

A spokesman for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said Sunday evening that he has already prepared his court filings challenging the constitutionality of the health-care reform measure that just now passed the House.

According to spokesman Brian Gottstein, Cuccinelli will file suit on behalf of the Commonwealth in the Eastern District of Virginia "as soon as the ink is dry" on President Obama's signature on the bill.

Cuccinelli, who has filed suit against the EPA challenging the agency's regulation of greenhouse gases, has been the most vocal of several Republican attorneys general who have promised to sue over health care. Just over a week ago, Virginia became the first state in the country to pass a state law making it illegal for the government to require an individual to purchase health insurance, a key element of the bill.

UPDATE 11:35 p.m.: Why file so quickly? Gottstein: "It's more cost efficient to start the process of challenging the bill as soon as possible. There are significant costs in implementing the health care law, so if it is going to be found unconstitutional, then we can save taxpayer money and trouble by making that determination sooner rather than later."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  March 21, 2010; 8:18 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman  
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Next: Cuccinelli: 'I didn't get elected not to do something'


What ever happened to the Republican condemnation of frivolous lawsuits? It's well-settled law that the bill as now passed by the House and Senate is a constitutional exercise of the Commerce Clause and Taxing and Spending Clause, and yet the Attorney General is willing to waste taxpayer money on his quixotic political crusade.

Posted by: Anonymous_Coward | March 21, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

John Calhoun Cuccinelli says "Hang on to your condererate money; the South shall rise again!

Posted by: TomPaine2 | March 21, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

John Calhoun Cuccinelli says: "Hang onto your conferate money Bubbas, the South shall rise again; Secession now, secession tomorrow, secession forever!"

Posted by: TomPaine2 | March 21, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

He must really enjoy being laughed out of court.

Aren't there drug dealers he should be worried about? Heaven knows gun runners are free to ply their trade.

Posted by: EricS2 | March 22, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

It appears that the state of Virginia has not only left the track, it has jumped on to the 3rd rail. Virginia, beware of your party first leaders, they appear to be bringing you down at your expense.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 22, 2010 1:33 AM | Report abuse

It seems that the extent to which Virginians would die without access to health care is of little to no concern to the AG. Put in more graphic terms, this guy is voting yes to Virginians dying for this very reason. I think the people of Virginia deserve life.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 22, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

John Roberts and the conservatives on the Supreme Court will defeat health care.

Posted by: blasmaic | March 22, 2010 2:32 AM | Report abuse

@ blasmaic

"John Roberts and the conservatives on the Supreme Court will defeat health care."

If so, the cries for impeachment will start - and will be heeded.

Posted by: ceefer66 | March 22, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

If the Supreme Court were, say, to overturn this bill, the end result would be the public option.

Conservatives, who never seem able to think in the long term, should be careful what they wish for.

Cuccinelli is a blithering. . . . well I am taking the civility pledge. Only Cuccinelli could make the governor of Virginia look like a reasonable man.

Hell, I live in Virginia and Cuccinelli is wasting my tax money on this.

Well, Republicans will be out on their collective fannies the next go round.

Posted by: yenta1 | March 22, 2010 4:01 AM | Report abuse

What a waste of Virginia's money. Are we having budget issues? Cuccinelli is such an embarrassment to the state of Virginia. The republicans screwed themselves with this administration. They'll be out in the next go around.

Posted by: Reality6 | March 22, 2010 5:34 AM | Report abuse

Funny, everyone is required to purchase car insurance, and many will never need to use it. Now everyone will be required to purchase health insurance, and sooner or later everyone will need to use it.

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 22, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse

Hey Citizens of Virginia:
Catholics represent just 14% of your state's population.
But you morons elected a right wing Catholic zealot like Cuccinellli as an AG? What were you thinking?
Even if every Catholic supported this fool:

Posted by: suec716 | March 22, 2010 6:17 AM | Report abuse

what about the 37 other states that want to do the same thing. Virginia is just the first.

what I want to know is that when someone like Sarah Palin is president, what will we do when she uses nationalized healthcare to kill stem cell research, refuse care to gays, and use our medical records to track us? don't think that will happen? stop kidding yourself

Posted by: akschodh | March 22, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: akschodh
what I want to know is that when someone like Sarah Palin is president, what will we do when she uses nationalized healthcare to kill stem cell research, refuse care to gays, and use our medical records to track us? don't think that will happen? stop kidding yourself"

It will be done under the guise of NATIONAL SECURITY. So to be against it will make you Anti-American! Worked before – will work again.

Palin in 2012! She’s what this country DESERVES!

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 22, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

It will be done under the guise of NATIONAL SECURITY. So to be against it will make you Anti-American! Worked before – will work again.

Palin in 2012! She’s what this country DESERVES!

Posted by: kparc1212 | March 22, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Way to go Virginia. People from your state were there for the people in the beginning and it seems like you haven't lost your zeal to fight for freedom and justice! Power to the people now and forever !

Posted by: gjdagis | March 22, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Ken could get a big boost by reading this link on the original meaning of regulating commerce:

Posted by: JASinAZ | March 22, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I can not believe that the tele-evangelist governor and AG will be WASTING taxpayer money on this frivolous lawsuit when they can not pay for schools, roads or any other campaign promise. Virginia is a laughingstock! This is solely to promote their national political aspirations. These men totally lied during their campaigns.

Posted by: hockeymom1 | March 22, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

The bill is FLAWED and will not pass court challenges at both the federal and state level. This is all part of checks and balances folks. Gotta prove serious criminal wrongdoing to impeach - and striking down unconstitional laws is not criminal, but provided for in the constitution.

Posted by: millertek | March 22, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse


Correction, in VA you are NOT required to purchase car insurance. You can pay the uninsured motorist fee - and this is why insurance in VA is so much cheaper in cost.

Posted by: millertek | March 22, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

And you can pay the fine instead of getting health insurance.

But Kookinelli is living up to his name. He's been an embarrassment to VA since he hit the ground bumbling.

I bet the fact that he's so insignificant to the national scene is all that's keeping his own personal sex scandal from coming out.

Posted by: MAL9000 | March 22, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Does Cootch even have standing? How exactly has the state (excuse me, Commonwealth) been injured by this bill? (cf. Art. 1 US Const.)

Posted by: Phil_in_VA | March 22, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

so the clowns you elected in virginia are really not right wing zealots. right. how long before the executive order requiring women to stay in the kitchen and have no rights whatsoever. first they came for the homosexuals, and no one said a word. then they came for people who demanded access to a doctor, and no one said a word. next is you.

Posted by: joeblow111 | March 22, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The first of many states that will be suing. Idaho will be next and counting Virginia and Idaho there are at least 34 states working on anti-Obamcare legislation, the same number needed to call a constitutional convention. I'll bet that'll wake up the Supreme Court to stike Obmacare down. Let's hope they do quickly before it all it's many damaging provision kick in.

Posted by: RobT1 | March 22, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

What a joke this Cucinelli guy is. Can Virginia get a real attorney general?

Posted by: chop1 | March 22, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I have a problem understanding why the elitists in politics want poor people to not have appropriate health care due to innability to pay medical costs. No insurance means no medical care, so people suffer and die for no reason. Virginia and those others are really mean and hatefilled.

Posted by: michelangelocooper | March 22, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Is this what Virginians want their taxes spent on? I think you need road repairs first.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 22, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli, is your mom on Medicare?

Posted by: jckdoors | March 22, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Memo to Cuccinelli: Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: posterchild90 | March 22, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

If his legal reasoning on this is as solid as his reasoning with his efforts to discriminate against gays and lesbians seeking higher education, I don't think the Obama Administration is too worried.

Hmm ... who would you take in a Supreme Court argument: This doofus or Elena Kagan. Hmm ... bets, please.

Posted by: Route1 | March 22, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This is in response to the message I copied below.
If you own a car that is financed - they want you to have car insurance and it must be maintained under the terms of the loan. Those that hold your loan are notified if your insurance lapses. You CANNOT get a car loan by saying you will only have uninsured motorist insurance. However, I don't pay for your failure to have car insurance; you do. Here is the direct info from the VA DMV. “Payment of the $500 fee does not provide the motorist with any insurance coverage. If involved in an accident, the uninsured motorist remains personally liable.” So if you think that this health penalty fee will get you insurance without paying for it – well you need to learn to read beyond your own perceptions or the blogs that will feed many people’s nonsensical belief for how they themselves can continue “greeding” the system. Wall Street “Greeders” have kissing cousins who live on Main Street it appears. These approaches are mostly by very immature”men” who won’t take on the responsibility of adulthood. You have no clue what your life will be like if you fail to secure health insurance – you will be your own death panel. You see – you are thinking of a single payer system with your coverage being the outcome – but that is not what was passed – you will pay now or you will pay later – unless you are so impaired that you are eligible for the socialism of Medicaid. Not too smart if you ask me. (But no matter how you add it up – I keep paying for your irresponsibility.
Correction, in VA you are NOT required to purchase car insurance. You can pay the uninsured motorist fee - and this is why insurance in VA is so much cheaper in cost.

Posted by: sskepticall | March 22, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Health Care and ANY OTHER "INSURANCE" should NOT be a "right" nor a "law" rammed down anybody's throat! I prefer to be responsible for MY OWN HEALTH, my own Driving habits, my own car, my OWN house! BACK OFF! "If you love wealth more than liberty,the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."~Samuel Adams - KC is the first "MAN" with balls Virginia's had in Public office for over a decade..he actually works FOR THE PEOPLE!

Posted by: marshamaines | March 22, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Kookynutty enjoys being a national joke. He's getting good at it.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | March 22, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he will regret the disrespect he has shown to the courts and the justices. This is an issue that must be contested. I consider myself fortunate that in Pennsylvania that the decision is in the hands of Attorney General Corbett who is capable of independent thought and appropriate action rather than Fast Eddie Rendell the Obamabot.

Posted by: rhebusman | March 22, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

kparc1212 -- your car insurance analogy is in error for several reasons.

First, any mandates to purchase car insurance are based on state laws. The fed. gov't does not mandate that nor could it under the powers granted to Congress under Article I, Sec. 8 of the U.S. Constitution.

Second, the state mandate to purchase car insurance only applies if... you own or drive a car. Many people choose not to own or drive a car, especially if they live in a city, and thus do not have to acquire insurance. Regardless, there is an element of freedom in the decision making. There is no such choice here -- if you are alive, you must purchase health insurance.

Posted by: JTR555 | March 22, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Cuccinelli is presumptuous in assuming that Virginians as a block do not want this HRC bill.

Wouldn't it be more fair to first have counties vote on whether they want to stay in the Union or go the way of states' rights?

Then Virginia could relocate all the federal facilities and bases and forts .....

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | March 22, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

During the election last year, Cuccinelli was portrayed (rightly) in some of his opponent's campaign ads as a nutburger wacko who would use the AG office to pursue his own agenda. And that's exactly what's happening. He obviously HAS taken the brown acid. . .and those of us in Virginia are paying the price.

Posted by: sgannvtedu | March 22, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Everyone needs to understand that there are certain aspects of this reform that do not seem all that horrible. I AGREE health care needs to be looked at. The U.S. hasn't always been perfect and needs fixing at times. However, people need to do their own research about this issue. If you go and review suggestions from doctors or from hospital employees the best solution for health care is rather simple. Everyone should have a right to get health care (regardless of what class you're in) However, the PROBLEM is that you are only allowed to seek health care in the state in which you live. - So if you live in Maryland you may only have health care offered in Maryland - By opening up the choices for people, example - allowing them to buy health care in different states it would raise competition among health care insurance companies. By raising competition, prices would be more flexible and cost efficient to every class.

Some people in this Country do not want health care - and it's their right as an American citizen to not have it. Obama's reform is calling for fines against people who don't get health care. That is not constitutional.

Our country is supposed to be in support of the people. However, slowly but surely the United States of America will turn Socialist and then Communist - just like China.

For everyone who has health care right now - In the near future, since the bill has been passes, the government is going to be able to look into your medical history when you need to go get something as simple as a CT Scan and they will be able to say, "Yes" or "No you can't" - this might seem to be exaggerated but it's not.

Every step closer the government gets to having more control, the closer we get to being just like the country of China.

Obama has also put into the bill that once this is passed, it can never be changed. So if someone else comes to office after him his bill stays regardless.

Please do your research, read the Constitution beginning to end, know your rights as a U.S. citizen. This is not meant to be opinionated in anyway these are the facts. Regardless if you believe it or not do some research and really read about this issue.

Posted by: mackieryan | March 22, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cuccinelli is ramping up for a run to be VA's next governor.

Good luck running on repealing HC, SS, medicare etc.

Posted by: knjincvc | March 22, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

now that the health care will be signed..what next's "free condoms" for all the Nigge... without jobs now going to get free health care...

Posted by: rsmith5588 | March 22, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i'm glad to be from Virginia and not from a nothern wimpy state..that is what bubba would do..

Posted by: diamondback3 | March 22, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Old teabaggers never die, they just smell that way.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 22, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

The pending lawsuits are using the state's rights to free commerce...didn't we already settle that with the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War? Wasn't that the same argument used to defend slavery? Look closely about what you are defending here, Attorneys General. The veneer of equality is so very thin.

Posted by: helper54 | March 22, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

As an independent vote, I am happy that not only Virginia but several other states is suing based on the fact that this bill is completely unconstitutional. In addition, after reading the CBO report it is apparent that all the numbers that Pelosi and Reid came out with are completely fabricated and twisted. They failed to mention in their $112 billion dollar surplus that it would also cost an additional $15 billion for administrative costs and "at least $50 billion in specified and estimated authorizations of
future discretionary spending for a number of grant programs and other provisions of the legislation" We need health care reform in this country badly, but putting this country further in debt is not the right way. What government run entitlement program is currently running a surplus and not in bankruptcy? The only bipartisan thing related to this bill was the opposition.

Posted by: stromeye | March 22, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Gee, you'd think Cuccinelli would also file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law that forces everyone to buy not only automobile insurance but extra automobile insurance to cover drivers that don't have automobile insurance....Or how about challenging the constitutionality of Torture? Too much to ask? Or the constitutionality of the Government keeping all of our cell phone records? Or our emails? Or of suspending habeas corpus? Or of suspending posse comitatus? Or how about the constitutionality of an administration that breaks laws then, when caught, passes a law making the act legal and retroactive so that they didn't break the law....???

Posted by: Watcher1 | March 22, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Seems Virginia is running on the same tracks left to it by Sheridan. "The roads to nowhere".

Posted by: hoser3 | March 22, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

and/or Sherman.

Posted by: hoser3 | March 22, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

You go lil' Kenny. Attaboy. Just keep suing big bad carbon caps, health care, and, by all means, keep those darn gays out of VA universities. You be a busy little AG beaver spending all the commonwealth's money.

I'm a transplant from the west coast and I've never seen anything like this guy. My gawd. You south easterners grow some pretty red necks with your tobacco.

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | March 22, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I am wiling to sign a recall petition of our AG by making a fool of the State of Virginia; if I could leave the State I would!

Posted by: robertlklassen | March 22, 2010 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I for one am quite proud that Virginia and my other home state, Texas, is lining up with 35 others to litigate this law as unconstitutional. I would remind you all that we do have enough states for a Constitutional Convention and that I look forward to defeating this wretched law in the courts, as Congress works on the rest of it starting next January.

Posted by: TuscanRed | March 22, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

MASSIVE RESISTANCE, George Wallace tactics, going down on the UP elevator. What can we expect from COOCH's approach to law? How in Heaven's name could this dolt have been elected? Let's hope that the good citizens of the Commonwealth can figure it out and remove COOCH from office before he starts a war or invades Kentucky or declares today's currency invalid and brings back the Confederate dollar. Sick puppies abound in Richmond...

Posted by: suzeq | March 22, 2010 11:11 PM | Report abuse

The federal government can't force people to BUY something, which is what this bill does. If SCOTUS does not overturn that portion of the bill, then shortly afterward Congress will mandate that everyone must buy a car from General Motors.

Posted by: jhimmi | March 23, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Impeach Cuccinnelli!! What an idiot.

Posted by: gohogs | March 23, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Kookinelli - You got what you vote for, Virginia.

Thanks, Mr. Kooki Cucci coo, for trying to deny us the benefits (and yes, the responsibilities) that we voted for in 2008.

Thank you President Obama, for your courage.

Posted by: pcc7407 | March 23, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

i feel its necessary to defend our constitution! its a right to all American citizens! the self serving interests of the democrats the so called politicians of the poor and the working class! what a joke ! Can"t the people see they are aiding the mega rich corporations insurance companies to have illegal control over the common everyday working man !my idea is if your commenters like socialism soo much they should move to a socialist country! why wasnt a national tax of goods and services implemented ? it sure would have been fair to the people ! the more you consume the more taxes you pay . taxation without representation is tryanny! over 50 percent of the population is against this major move of stupidity!in closing how much money is spent on medical on illegal immigrants in this country? why don"t all of your socialist commentators dig deep in their pockets and pay for all of these people who have come here illegally? watch out Democrats 2010 its going to be a bad election year for you!Next move flood the country with more illegals and then cry their isnt enough money to pay for the bulging pockets of the insurance companies ! so the payments to the insurance companies for insurance will finish off the country thanks mr obama

Posted by: edwgon560 | March 23, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

Bravo Cuccinelli! He is a patriot for challenging an unconstitutional law that was so bad that the democrats had to bribe and twist arms to get it passed and even then it was by the slimmest of margins. Even then, Congress made sure that they as well as their staffers and the president don't have to go into the health care "exchange". So, it is good enough for us, but not good enough for them???

Health care certainly needs to be overhauled, but not taken over by the Feds. 100+ new agencies and 16,000 IRS agents monitoring each American to make sure they have the proper coverage!?! And...who pays for it? WE THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS DO.

Repeal and Redo the bill!!!

Signed by just a mom who is trying not to pass trillions of dollars of debt and lost liberties to her children.

Posted by: NovaPatriot1 | March 24, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

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