Fired U.S. Attorney Knocks GOP Health Care Suits
By Andrew Ramonas | March 31, 2010 3:23 pm

A former federal prosecutor in Seattle, who was one of the nine U.S. Attorneys dismissed in the 2006 U.S. Attorney firing scandal, said Tuesday night that politics is the impetus behind Republican lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new health care law, Seattle radio station KIRO reported Wednesday.

John McKay (Seattle University)

John McKay, who was the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington from 2001 to 2006, said the suits brought by mostly Republican state attorneys general, including Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, don’t have a legal standing.

McKenna, a possible contender for the 2012 GOP gubernatorial nomination, says it is unconstitutional to require people to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014 and to make state Medicaid programs admit more enrollees.

“These are policy questions and they’re political debate,” McKay said, according to the radio station. “Perhaps the filing of these cases is not such a pure exercise and the fact that it’s not going to go so quickly might not concern some of those who filed it.”

The former U.S. Attorney was speaking at the University of Washington during a panel debate on the health care legislation, which President Barack Obama signed into law last week. All of the participants in the debate agreed that the suits don’t have a legal standing, KIRO said.

The Justice Department has vowed to “vigorously defend” the health care law, receiving support from four governors, including Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D).


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