MO AG files amicus brief against ObamaCare

posted at 2:15 pm on April 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Ordinarily, news that a state had filed a court brief arguing to overturn ObamaCare wouldn’t rate much of  a mention.  Twenty-seven states have already filed lawsuits to overturn the law as unconstitutional on several grounds, and both suits have succeeded in federal district courts.  Adding Missouri, a red-to-purplish state anyway, would not be a big surprise — except for the man filing the brief:

Missouri’s Democratic attorney general broke with his party on Monday and urged a federal judge to invalidate the central provision of the new health care law.

The filing of the brief by Attorney General Chris Koster, a onetime Republican state legislator who switched to the Democratic Party in 2007, underscores the act’s political tenuousness in a critical Midwestern swing state.

Party affiliation appears to be something of a moveable feast for Koster.  He climbed on board the Democratic bandwagon after their victories in the 2006 midterm showed that they had political momentum in Missouri and nationwide.  With ObamaCare so unpopular in the state that a non-binding referendum against it attracted more votes than both 2010 Senate primaries combined while winning by a 3-1 margin, it’s not much of a surprise to see Koster try to ride the waves once more.

Koster declined to file a lawsuit or formally join the 26-state case currently being heard in Florida.  Instead, Koster filed an amicus brief in that case arguing with the other states to declare the entire law void.  Despite his current Democratic Party affiliation, the New York Times notes that Koster didn’t exactly “mince words”:

Though Mr. Koster has been slow to weigh in, he did not mince words, arguing in the court brief that Congress had overstepped its authority by mandating that individuals buy health insurance, which he called “a substantial blow to federalism and personal freedom.”

“If Congress can force activity under the Commerce Clause, then it could force individuals to receive vaccinations or annual checkups, undergo mammogram or prostate exams or maintain a specific body mass,” he wrote.

Interestingly, though, Koster argued that only the mandate should be stricken.  The judge in the 26-state case ruled to strike down the entire law.  Roger Vinson ruled that Congress deliberately omitted a severability clause in the legislation, which meant that having its central component ruled unconstitutional invalidates the whole program.  That’s different from Virginia’s separate case, where Judge Henry Hudson struck down the mandate but declared an implicit severability to ObamaCare that allowed the rest of the law to operate.

If Koster intended to support the plaintiff in a case by arguing that the mandate is severable, then it would make more sense for him to file that amicus brief in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, where Virginia’s lawsuit will be heard on appeal.  By filing his brief at the 11th Circuit, Koster may end up weakening the plaintiffs’ case by arguing for reimposition of the rest of the law, and one has to wonder whether that might not be a deliberate choice on his part.


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He is a weasel. He was a rightie, then turned into a leftie. Now that the MO population votes 70+ % right he is swinging again, like a forlorn pendulum.

He needs to grow up or go drinking some more.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

The filing of the brief by Attorney General Chris Koster, a onetime Republican state legislator who switched to the Democratic Party in 2007, underscores the act’s political tenuousness in a critical Midwestern swing state.

Fair weather friend indeed. Weathervane political hack.

portlandon on April 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Count It!

Del Dolemonte on April 12, 2011 at 2:24 PM

He should file with MO, not wiht FL.

Both sides should expedite the entire thing to the Supreme Court, pronto.

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 2:25 PM

The quicker they get this to the Supreme Court the better I think/hope.

Kini on April 12, 2011 at 2:26 PM

This guy rides the prevailing winds so much, he makes Specter look principled.

jwolf on April 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

He’s trying to appease the 77% of MO voters who don’t like it via a legal action in FL that doesn’t really do anything. The epitome of the politically correct do-nothing politician trying to save is buttock in the up-coming election cycle.

Lawrence on April 12, 2011 at 2:35 PM

“… and one has to wonder whether that might not be a deliberate choice on his part.”

That…

… and the obligatory face time on Greta.

Seven Percent Solution on April 12, 2011 at 2:39 PM

‘Those white people’? I’m glad the cover is finally being pulled from just how a lot of ‘black people’ think about ‘white people’. The libs will never stop using race as a political tool even if we all turn pink, or green or tan. It’s a method in their madness. Oh, and the guy in the thread is another suntan Charlie. Wake up Mo.

Kissmygrits on April 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

DAYUM! Us whities sho is evil. Huh?

44Magnum on April 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Though this state has long been viewed as a political bellwether, the politics of the electorate have grown more conservative in recent years, and Barack Obama narrowly lost the state in 2008.

The way I read this paragraph, the NYT is saying MO used to be a belleweather but now that it’s turning red, that’s no longer the case. How biased can these jackasses be? Plus, in MO, he’s Koster the Imposter because he has no true allegance to anything.

Big John on April 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Why is this not racist?

Donna Brazile: The Majority of “Those White People” Believe Those People Are Taking Our Money

Nearly Nobody on April 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I still don’t understand why blacks (in general, like Juan said in the vid) can get away with such blatant racism when whites can’t even say the word black to even describe the color of a car without being slammed as racist. The double standard knows no bounds.

Big John on April 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Tip

Why is this not racist?

Donna Brazile: The Majority of “Those White People” Believe Those People Are Taking Our Money

Nearly Nobody on April 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

This is why the existence of black conservatives totally confloozalates the democratics.

slickwillie2001 on April 12, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Should Claire watch her backside? Heehee.

AH_C on April 12, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Nearly Nobody on April 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

Racist accusation has allowed dimwits like Donna Brazile to gain a foot hold on power and influence that she would not have otherwise gotten. Even the other black panelists were confused by her racist rant against scholarships for white people who merit the help and show potential for advancement.
.
Can’t let whitey get any further up the ladder, now can we?

ExpressoBold on April 12, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Schadenfreude on April 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Never trust a maggot.

oldleprechaun on April 12, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Congress could mandate proctologists exams for everybody.
Oh, wait a minute … doesn’t the TSA already do this ?
That’s right. Just for those sing air transportation.

J_Crater on April 12, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Nice of these folks to include the electoral votes on this map of what states are suing over Obamacare:

http://healthcare-coalition.org/Lawsuit%20Map%20FINAL.jpg

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

Help me… there’s a word for someone who will do anything for money … usually associated with women of ill repute and with politicians… gosh, I just can’t think of it right now …

Labamigo on April 12, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Weasel is as weasel does.

Freelancer on April 12, 2011 at 8:54 PM

This was in the UK paper and I’m going to post it everywhere I can:
news »

NHS patients denied high cost drugs by primary care trusts
Family doctors are being prevented from prescribing drugs for conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis as NHS managers attempt to make drastic budget cuts.

Bambi on April 12, 2011 at 9:29 PM