Monday, March 22, 2010

Leonard Calls for AGs to Challenge Healthcare Bill


With passage of the health care bill last night, Attorney General candidate Ryan Leonard calls for a constitutional challenge.

Attorney General Candidate Ryan Leonard: AG’s Should Challenge Constitutionality of Obama Health Care Bill

Leonard recognized for being an early and leading voice for constitutional challenge

Ryan Leonard, Republican candidate for Attorney General, today called upon Attorneys General from across the country to challenge the constitutionality of the newly-passed health care measure when it becomes law. Leonard has been a leading voice for a constitutional challenge to the proposal for many months.

"I believe the federal mandate in this bill requiring every American to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. It is an unprecedented form of federal action, and an intrusion into the personal lives of Americans," Leonard said. "If the legal challenge to the federal mandate is successful, the law will fail."

According to Leonard, "Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce. However, nowhere is Congress granted the authority to require an individual to engage in interstate commerce. The proposal passed today amounts to a 'living tax,' one imposed on every person merely because they choose not to buy health insurance. While states plainly have the authority to require individuals to purchase car insurance, for example, it is unprecedented for the federal government to require an individual to purchase a good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."

"The federal mandate provisions of the health care bill rely upon a strained-beyond-reason interpretation of the Commerce Clause, rendering the 10th Amendment a nullity, and I believe it’s unconstitutional," Leonard continued. "The Attorneys General must take a leadership role on this issue, and defend the Constitution from the over-reaching actions of this Congress and President."

Leonard received wide-spread attention for a November op-ed piece questioning the constitutionality of several provisions of the proposed healthcare bill. In December, a number of state Attorneys General questioned the constitutionality of the "Cornhusker Compromise," a political kick-back offered to Senator Ben Nelson in exchange for his support of the bill.

In the absence, for now, of a conservative majority in Congress, let's hope that this terrible legislation can be overturned by a push from state AGs.

Ryan Leonard is running for Attorney General here in Oklahoma - former State Sen. Scott Pruitt is also running for the GOP nomination.

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