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Kinder counters federal challenge to health care lawsuit

By   /   January 26, 2011  /   No Comments

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is calling the move by the U.S. Department of Justice to try and get his lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law dismissed a “desperate ploy.”

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder

“The Obama administration bizarrely claims that a federal court lacks the jurisdiction to hear these claims,” Kinder said in a statement released Wednesday. “We believe that this is a desperate ploy by an administration that has already suffered a major setback in a similar case when a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.”

Kinder filed a memorandum in opposition to the attempts by the federal government to dismiss his constitutional challenge Tuesday. The feds filed their legal challenge last week.

Following the ruling in December that the mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional, Kinder, who filed his lawsuit in July, commended the federal judge in Virginia.

As the lawsuit in Virginia, which was appealed following the ruling, moves through the federal judicial system, another lawsuit involving around 25 states is underway in Florida.

Kinder, a Republican, has repeatedly called on Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, to file his own lawsuit in federal court or join with other states to challenge the constitutionality of the federal health care law.

The Missouri Senate passed a resolution urging Koster to challenge the health care law last week, along with calling on him to defend the validity of Proposition C, which challenges the federal health insurance mandate and was passed by voters in August.  The Missouri House, a week before, passed a similar resolution.

Following a question by Missouri Watchdog during a press conference on Tuesday, Koster said his office is likely to do something recognizing the will of the legislature and that Missouri state law has now adopted Prop C.

“Our office has a fiduciary duty to defend Missouri law. What we do, how we do it, is something that we are actively reviewing. There’s a lot of subtleties and research that has to be gone through,” Koster said. “We have heard what the General Assembly has said. We are listening to the people and we will not lose that moment.”

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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Brian formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.