Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Supreme Court Refuses Cuccinelli's Request to Fast Track Challenge to Health Care Law

While it shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone familiar with Virginia politics, Ken Cuccinelli has been trying to use his position as Virginia’s Attorney General to win some political points with his base. Not only has he been advocating against allowing loving same sex couples to adopt children, but he’s also been spending tax payer money to challenge health care reform. As part of his desire to see affordable health care coverage prevented as quickly as possible, he had even requested that the Supreme Court allow his challenge to the law head directly to the highest court instead of going through the normal appeals process. Fortunately, the Supreme Court announced it wouldn’t be granting Cuccinelli’s request.
The Supreme Court on Monday turned down Virginia’s request that it rule immediately on the constitutionality of the nation’s health-care overhaul.

The decision to reject Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II’s request for expedited review, announced routinely without elaboration or noted dissent, is not surprising. The court rarely takes up issues that have not received a full review in the nation’s appeals courts.
This decision has already received a lot of praise from both local and national officials. DPVA Chairman Brian Moran, for instance, quickly put out a statement praising the decision and encouraging Cuccinelli to devote more of his office’s resources to fighting for Virginians who are struggling in this economy.
The Supreme Court did the right thing in requiring our litigious Attorney General to pursue his personal crusade against health reform through the proper legal channels. It is unfortunate, however, that this ruling all but ensures that this issue will continue to distract Ken Cuccinelli from more important issues for the foreseeable future.

Instead of using his taxpayer-funded office to challenge a law that has already helped more than 100,000 young Virginians keep their access to health insurance, the Attorney General should devote more of his time and our resources to fighting for middle class families that are struggling to find work and stay in their homes in this difficult economy. Virginians should not have to foot the bill for his personal political agenda.
It should also be noted that even though this is a victory for those who support providing affordable health care to the public, the court battle over health care reform is far from over. As Moran pointed out, for instance, Cuccinelli’s crusade against health care reform isn’t even over as the case now will just be following the normal appeals process. When you combine that with the fact that some other states are pursuing cases against the law, it looks like we’ll be seeing some Republican leaders trying to play politics with health care for quite some time.

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