Cuccinelli takes to the web to explain health care suit
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II spoke directly to supporters and others this evening about his lawsuit against the federal health care law, bypassing media filters to directly address more than 2,000 registered participants in an online webcast about the suit.
Though Cuccinelli is one of 21 state attorneys general who are suing over the law, he has been working to establish himself as the go-to spokesman to explain the legal intricacies of the issue and provide robust intellectual support for the notion that these suits will decide something critical about the nation's future as a constitutional democracy.
Cuccinelli spent a good part the hourlong session walking participants through the suit's nuts and bolts, explaining how the legal process will unfold and the arguments that have so far been made by his office and their federal antagonists.
But his main goal, he said, was to explain how his suit defends nothing less than the first principles upon which the country was founded. And to offer supporters the intellectual tools to help "convert the confused" on the issue.
He asked supporters to talk to their friends and neighbors and write letters to the editor of the local newspapers--he said his political team could provide talking points to help. He noted the webcast was not being paid for by taxdollars and asked for donations from supporters to help fund it and other efforts.
Using power point slides and pacing a small stage like a law professor, Cuccinelli spoke in front of a live audience, who chuckled at his occasional self-deprecating lawyer jokes. His three main take-home messages, he told the group, were that the legal suit is about "liberty first, not health care;" that the notion that the federal government would require citizens to purchase a product, as required by the law, is "absolutely unprecedented" in American history; and that if the federal government prevails, the role of states in a federalist system will have become "just about irrelevent."
"This is a state doing exactly what they thought we should, and that's standing in the breach and guarding the overreaches of the federal government. That's what the Founding Fathers wanted states to do--and we're doing it in Virginia," he said.
Cuccinelli predicted the suit could be decided by the Supreme Court in 2012 or 2013--and he encouraged supporters not to believe those who have said the suits have little chance of success.
"The people you shouldn't listen to talking about this case are the ones who say it's a slam dunk or we don't have a prayer. Part of being unprecedented means we are in uncharted waters from a legal perspective," he said.
Cuccinelli's staff has said the entire webcast will be made available for viewing on his political website.
June 16, 2010; 9:30 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Rosalind Helderman
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