Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

A.G. Swanson should have sued over health care

Written by Jeff Johnson on April 6th, 2010. Posted in General

The Star Tribune printed an opinion piece I wrote today regarding Attorney General Lori Swanson’s decision not to file suit challenging the constitutionality of the new health care law. 

I should add a disclaimer: I lost the 2006 A.G. election to Swanson (and I can’t even argue voter fraud, as there were far too many votes separating us to blame on any ACORN conspiracy or a lost ballot box on the Iron Range).  So, for me, this is a little like fantasy football: I get to pretend I’m in charge of something even though I’m really just watching from the stands.

Jeff Johnson: Swanson Should Have Backed Suit

Fourteen states’ attorneys general have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new national health care law. Recently, Gov. Tim Pawlenty asked Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to join those suits on behalf of the people of Minnesota. Not surprisingly, Swanson has informed the governor that she will not challenge the new law and, in fact, will file a brief arguing in its favor.

In Minnesota, the attorney general is the governor’s lawyer. That does not mean the attorney general is required to do the governor’s every bidding. If, for example, the governor requests the initiation of a baseless lawsuit or seeks to use the courts for partisan purposes (and I recognize we Republicans can play the partisan game with the best of them), there would be a strong basis for the attorney general to rebuff her client.

Pawlenty’s request, however, was not such a case. Instead, it set forth a very legitimate constitutional concern that every Minnesota citizen should share.