An opinion issued Tuesday by Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said legislation introduced to block health care reform legislation, commonly derided as "Obamacare," is unconstitutional.
Cooper will not be joining 14 other state attorneys general in lawsuits to block the controversial health care law passed recently by Congress. It also means tea party protestors aren't likely to stop coming by his office and shouting anytime soon.
The opinion (read it here) states, "A court would likely determine that SB 3498/HB 3433 and HJR 745 are preempted by conflicting provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." In laymans terms, that means it's unconstitutional.
Furthermore, the opinion states, "Congressional power to preempt state law arises from the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. The Supremacy Clause provides that the laws of the United States 'shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.' "
States whose attorneys general have a differing opinion and are filing challenges include Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Michigan, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington State, Idaho and South Dakota. The suing attorneys general are all Republicans except James "Buddy" Caldwell of Louisiana, who is a Democrat.
In contrast, pro-health care reform attorneys general are going on the offensive in places like Oregon and Ohio, while the AGs in Georgia and Kentucky have refused requests from their governors to fight the legislation.