Virginia’s AG: Just Being Alive is Not Interstate Commerce

By March 22, 2010Health Care

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was the first attorney general out of the box this morning to announce litigation against the health care bill President Obama plans to sign into law. Cuccinelli’s argument is a straightforward one challenging the constitutionality of an individual mandate. Excerpt from Cuchinelli’s statement:

With this law, the federal government will force citizens to buy health insurance, claiming it has the authority to do so because of its power to regulate interstate commerce. We contend that if a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person – by definition – is not engaging in commerce, and therefore, is not subject to a federal mandate.

Virginia is in a unique situation that allows it the standing to file such a suit since Virginia is the only state so far to pass a law protecting its citizens from a government-imposed mandate to buy health insurance. The health care reform bill, with its insurance mandate, creates a conflict of laws between the federal government and Virginia. Normally, such conflicts are decided in favor of the federal government, but because we believe the federal law is unconstitutional, Virginia’s law should prevail.

Just being alive is not interstate commerce. If it were, there would be no limit to the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause and to Congress’s authority to regulate everything we do. There has never been a point in our history where the federal government has been given the authority to require citizens to buy goods or services.

Washington Post, March 11, “Va. assembly approves bill to bar health-insurance mandate
Heritage Foundation, Dec. 9, 2009, “The Individual Mandate in Obamacare is Unconstitutional

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Sir I would like to make one thing very clear. I believe very strongly in the Constitution of the United States and this Health care is extremely bad for the nation and for the citizens.
    I ask you to put all your power into fighting it. If I can help please contact me and I will try to do what I can to destroy this Health care package.
    Contact me at

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