Lund on Legal Challenges to Health Care Bill

As Virginia's attorney general filed suit in U.S. District Court to challenge legality of President Obama's health care overhaul, Professor Nelson Lund expressed his belief that the government might be overstepping its authority in its requirement that citizens purchase health insurance.

"I think there's a serious argument that the individual mandate is not authorized by the Constitution," Lund said.

A second legal challenge to the new health care law has been mounted by 13 states and is led by the Florida attorney general; however, Virginia has chosen to file suit alone, claiming different standing in arguing that its existing laws are in conflict with the insurance mandate.

Cuccinelli goes alone on health care lawsuit, Washington Examiner, March 24, 2010. By William C. Flook.


"Virginia has been at the center of the national health care debate since McDonnell won election as governor campaigning against a federal expansion of health care. The General Assembly passed bills seeking to exempt the state from the insurance mandate.

"Cuccinelli didn't join the other states because 'we have a different standing,' in that 'federal law directly conflicts with our law,' spokesman Brian Gottstein said.

"In the suit, Cuccinelli argues that Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce under the Constitution falls short of mandating health insurance.

"Critics charge the attorney general is wasting taxpayer dollars on a lawsuit with little realistic chance of survival, based on a state measure that is already trumped by federal law."