Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2011
Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov <mailto:Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov>
Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Virginia’s Health Care Challenge
RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this afternoon regarding the decision by a three judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Virginia’s health care lawsuit.
“Today, a three judge panel, consisting of two judges appointed by President Barack Obama and one by former President Bill Clinton, found that Virginia lacks standing to challenge the individual mandate provision of the federal health care law. We respectfully disagree with the panel’s reasoning. To conclude that a state has no standing to challenge an expensive and burdensome federal mandate on its citizens that the state has banned in its law, might cause James Madison and George Mason, Virginia’s principal drafters of our nation’s founding documents, to promptly roll in their graves. To dismiss a Virginia statute as a basis for standing, declaring it to be ‘quintessentially political,’ and asserting that a state cannot be a ‘constitutional watchdog’ undermines our precious principles of federalism. This decision must be promptly appealed.
“As federal courts across the country continue to come to differing conclusions on the merits of cases arguing the unconstitutionality of the federal health care law, today’s decision further exemplifies why these cases should be expedited to the nation’s highest court. It is the Supreme Court that will ultimately determine whether the federal mandate on every citizen to purchase health insurance violates the U.S. Constitution. States and businesses continue to expend time and money and languish in uncertainty as they try to come into compliance with a law that may ultimately be ruled unconstitutional. It is exasperating that the President and the Justice Department oppose a prompt resolution of this case through an expedited appeal. America needs finality in this case.”