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White House Moves to Dismiss Health Care Suit

By Jason Beahm on May 28, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019
The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to dismiss Virginia's lawsuit challenging the new health care reform law. The administration argued in a motion that the law is valid, filed mere hours before the deadline.

Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli filed suit in Virginia hours after the health care reform became law. Cuccinelli contends that the health care law violates the limited federal powers of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He filed the suit purportedly in defense of a Virginia law that exempts Virginians from being required to have health coverage

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued in the motion to dismiss that the court should reject Cuccinelli's lawsuit because the health care law is valid under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. 

Sebelius began the motion by laying out the basics of the administration's argument in favor of dismissing Virginia's challenge:

"Virginia seeks here to challenge recently enacted federal health care reform legislation. To accept that challenge, this Court would have to make new law and ignore decades of settled precedent. The Court would also have to step beyond the proper role of the Judiciary, for Virginia does not satisfy the basic constitutional prerequisites--in particular, standing to sue--to invoke federal jurisdiction."

More than twelve states have filed lawsuits challenging the new health care law on similar grounds. The cases are expected to eventually make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The court is currently reviewing the motions. They have not indicated when they expect to rule on the administration's motion to dismiss. 

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