A Justice Department decision that constitutional challenges to Obamacare should go though appeals before reaching the Supreme Court is just an “excuse,” and is “putting off the inevitable,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told Fox News Thursday. Earlier in the day, Cuccinelli announced he is petitioning the high court to rule as soon as possible.
“They didn't say anything directly, but their public statement was Virginia has its own statute so it needs to go separately to the courts, which makes no sense at all,” Cuccinelli told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.
“It is what you call an excuse,” he said. “I can only assume for some reason or another they [Justice Department] think they going to have a better chance later, or they're just putting off the inevitable, and they think we are going to win and don't want it to get [to the Supreme Court] with any alacrity.”
In December, a district court judge in Virginia ruled the law’s individual mandate requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance is unconstitutional. The federal government appealed, and the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear the case in May.
This week, a federal judge in Florida also ruled the mandate unconstitutional in a suit that 26 states had joined. In two other cases, federal judges have found the law constitutional.
Because the issues in the cases amount to purely legal arguments, having them go through the appellate courts is a waste of time, Cuccinelli said.
“There's no witnesses, no transcripts of witness testimony, no documents. This is a pure legal argument,” he said. “We are going to have a rerun of the same legal arguments at each level of court.”
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