Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill Would Get Lawsuit From Virginia if Approved

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 16, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill Would Get Lawsuit From Virginia if Approved

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 16
, 2010

Richmond, VA ( — The pro-abortion government-run health care bill would find itself the subject of a lawsuit from Virginia officials should Congress approve it and Obama sign it into law. A lawsuit from the state could join another potential suit if Democrats use the Slaughter Rule to pass the bill without voting on it.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a pro-life Republican, made the comments about the potential lawsuit in an address to the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.

He said the Healthcare Freedom Act awaiting Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signature would “will give us more basis to challenge” the legislation, he said, according to the Martinsville Bulletin newspaper.

Although federal law typically trumps state law, if McDonnell signs the Virginia measure, Cuccinelli said “I intend to file suit” to challenge the law’s constitutionality."

Virginia’s General Assembly voted 80-17 Wednesday to accept Senate amendments to the bill that bans mandatory health insurance coverage. The bill would exempt the state’s citizens from any federal requirement that they purchase health insurance against their will.

Meanwhile, though Congressional Republicans and pro-life advocates would rather defeat the pro-abortion health care bill but, if Democrats use the controversial Slaughter Rule to get the House to approve the Senate bill without actually voting on it they may be successful in overturning the legislation in court.

Amy Ridenour at the National Center Blog points out that a key Supreme Court decision on the line-item veto from 1998 has implications for the Slaughter Rule.

The high court, in Clinton vs. City of New York, ruled the specialized veto unconstitutional but it also spelled out how bills become law.

In its decision, the Supreme Court noted, "a bill containing its exact text was approved by a majority of the Members of the House of Representatives, the Senate approved precisely the same text; and that text was signed into law by the President. The Constitution explicitly requires that each of those three steps be taken before a bill may ‘become a law.’ Art. I, Section 7."

"If one paragraph of that text had been omitted at any one of those three stages, Public Law 105–33 would not have been validly enacted," the high court said, according to Ridenour.

Mark Tapscott, a writer at the Washington Examiner, says he thinks the decision would apply to the Slaughter Rule, whereby House Democrats may approve a procedural motion that "deems" the Senate bill and its abortion funding approved without actually voting on the legislation.

"Democrats in Congress might want to re-read the 1998 Supreme Court decision," he writes. "That reasoning would seem applicable to legislation approved under the Slaughter Solution, since the House would be voting on a proposed rule for considering a bill and not the bill itself."

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