Intro: Federal Judge Rules that the Attorney Generals’ Suit Against the Federal Healthcare Law can Continue. What Do the Candidates for RI AG Think About This?

Last Thursday, Judge Roger Vinson of the Federal District Court of Northern Florida ruled that the lawsuit challenging the new Federal healthcare law filed by 20 state Attorney Generals should be allowed to continue. His reasoning is very straightforward. The Federal Government’s power to act is limited by the Constitution…

My review of the statute is not to question or second guess the wisdom, motives, or methods of Congress. I am only charged with deciding if the Act is Constitutional. If it is, the legislation must be upheld — even if it is a bad law…Conversely, if it is unconstitutional, the legislation must be struck down — even if it is a good law.
…and since a Federal imposition of a purchase mandate on individuals is an unprecedented extension of Federal power, the question of whether that extension is Constitutional merits consideration…
At this stage in the litigation, this is not even a close call…The power that the individual mandate seeks to harness is simply without prior precedent.
Prior to Judge Vinson’s ruling, all of the candidates for Rhode Island Attorney General had previously taken positions on whether a challenge to the healthcare law had any legal merit. I asked each candidate what impact a Federal Judge’s decision that “it’s not even close” had on their positions. Responses received so far will be posted on the upcoming half-hours…

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