Nine State Attorney Generals File Legal Brief Supporting Health Care Law’s Constitutionality

Jan 21, 2011 4:18pm

ABC News' Huma Khan reports: A coalition of nine state attorney generals today filed an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of the new health care law.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of multiple court challenges facing the new law, the chief one being the lawsuit filed in Florida on behalf of 27 states.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said the legal filing is more than just a symbolic or political gesture.

“This is a legal statement. I think that the arguments we make are very strong agruments,” Miller said in a conference call. “I think that the courts do look to amicus briefs and give them consideraion for instance at the Supreme Court of the United States, we do know from members that they do consider our arguments very carefully.”

The coalition includes attorney generals from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, New York, Oregon and Vermont.

“We will be working to defend the Constitution and the administration’s position … [in cases] that go on to the court of appeals,” Miller said. “It’s clearly within the federal government’s power to regulate health care and to regulate it in the specific way that’s been done in this bill.”

Iowa’s Republican Gov. Terry Branstad opposes the law and the state is one of the 27 taking part in the joint lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act’s constitutionality.

The House and Senate Democratic leadership filed a separate amicus brief today also in support of the constitutionality of the health care law.

“By filing this brief, Democratic leaders are taking a strong stand against any and all efforts to repeal patients’ rights and put insurance companies back in charge of Americans’ health choices,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.

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