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Court Upholds WA AG’s Authority to pursue Health Care Challenge
Last Updated on Friday, 2 September 2011 12:39 Written by rslcpol Friday, 2 September 2011 12:39
From Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna:
In a 9-0 ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court denied the City of Seattle’s request to require Attorney General Rob McKenna to withdraw Washington from the multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law passed in March 2010 and upheld the Attorney General’s authority to defend the public interest.
“I’m pleased the court affirmed the authority and responsibility of the Attorney General to challenge the constitutionality of federal laws that threaten the constitutional rights of this state and its people,” McKenna said. “It’s important that the state’s constitutionally-established, independently-elected Attorney General – whomever it may be — have the authority to protect the legal rights of the state and its people in the years to come.”
The city argued the Attorney General overstepped his authority when he joined more than a dozen state attorneys general in filing the suit in late March 2010.
The state argued the courts have consistently recognized that the Attorney General’s constitutional and statutory role requires him or her to exercise independent legal judgment that takes into account the legal interests of the state of Washington as a whole when determining how to best protect its legal rights.