Va. to challenge reform constitutionality

March 17, 2010 at 11:29 PM
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RICHMOND, Va., March 17 (UPI) -- Virginia will challenge the constitutionality of any healthcare reform legislation passed by Congress, a spokesman for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said.

Virginia last week became the first state to adopt a law against the government requiring individuals to purchase healthcare coverage, but Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein did not say Wednesday what the state's constitutional challenge would be based on, The Washington Post reported.

Such a mandate is one of the core provisions of the healthcare bill currently being debated on Capitol Hill. Cuccinelli has said he was studying the legal issues that might be involved in a constitutional challenge.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to travel to Virginia Friday for a rally to promote the healthcare bill.

Cuccinelli wrote in a column in the conservative American Spectator magazine the reform proposals being considered in Washington "violate the plain text of both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments," the Post said.

In a letter Wednesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Cuccinelli argued that if the House uses a "deem and pass" parliamentary move to approve a Senate-passed version of healthcare reform, the legislation would be exposed to "yet another constitutional challenge."

Idaho Republican Gov. Butch Otter Wednesday signed legislation that sponsors said will prevent government from forcing individuals in Idaho to buy health insurance as a requirement of citizenship, said.

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