Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s home state of Nevada is expected today to join 15 other states that have filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Obamacare.
Nevada Democratic Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez Mastro has refused to challenge the law on behalf of the state at the request of the Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons. But Gibbons says he has found that a Nevada law restricting the governor from taking up the matter without consent of the attorney general has a giant loophole that will allow Nevada to join other states’ suits challenging provisions of the healthcare legislation.
“The law is clear that in the State of Nevada we cannot without her authority hire for compensation an attorney to represent the State of Nevada,” Gibbons told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto. “The law is silent as to actions outside of the State of Nevada and having an attorney represent the State of Nevada for nothing, in other words pro bono. We are assuming the law allows for that and we are going to move forward by joining the Florida lawsuit that’s outside the State of Nevada. We have attorneys and firms that are doing it for nothing so there is no cost to the state.”
Attorneys General from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington have already sued the federal government independently or have joined the State of Florida in their challenge. Louisiana’s Attorney General is the sole Democrat.
According to a new Rasmussen poll released yesterday, 57% of Nevada voters said that Obamacare is bad for the country. Sen. Reid’s numbers are also dismal with all three of the possible Republican challengers leading in the poll, two of them by double digits.
Gibbons was asked about Democrat assertions these lawsuits were playing politics given all but one of the challenges comes from a Republican state attorney general.
"I’m concerned about the Constitution,” the Nevada governor said. “It doesn’t bother me that every Republican is standing up for the Constitution and the rights of Americans and the Democrats are opposed to that. That shows their partisan politics. They’re becoming the party of no, don’t interfere with our attempts to take over all of the healthcare industry in this country. This is a serious, serious infringement and erosion of the constitutional rights of Americans.”
The Florida suit asserts, among other things, that a law forcing people to buy health insurance — a product they may or may not want with benefits they may or may not be able to afford — is unconstitutional.
“By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution and violates the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. Additionally, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution,” the attorneys general said.
Gibbons agrees that the law is a complete stretch of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution that it gives the federal government authority to regulate commerce between the states.
“It’s a brand new precedent-setting erosion of the limitation on federal power by forcing you to buy federally approved health insurance,” Gibbons said. “The Commerce Clause has been limited even in recent times when there is no nexus and no connection to the action of commerce between states. In this case, if you do nothing, you are then required to pay a fine or a penalty for simply doing nothing. That’s wholly unconstitutional on its face.”
Opposition to Obamacare continues in poll after poll. The average of all polling released by Real Clear Politics March 10 through March 28 reveals 50% of respondents oppose Obamacare while 40% support it.