McCollum Taking the Lead on Health Care Suits

The genial Florida attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum has been unofficially designated as the lead for the group of AGs who plan to file suit in federal court today to try and block the health care legislation.

Mr. McCollum's forum will be the Northern District of Florida -- so yes, we are 10 years removed from Florida, Florida Florida, and once again the political pulse of the nation will be taken by judges in Tallahassee for a while. McCollum's basic argument is that the bill taxes people for doing nothing, and that the federal government can't do that. Well, the basic response to this, as articulated by Jack Balkin and others, is that the government has the ability to fine you if you don't file tax returns -- and the constitutional test here is whether paying for health care reform and/or expanding the size of the risk pool meets the definition of "General Welfare" as laid out in the Constitution.

The political point here is that McCollum is an inoffensive, friendly, personable guy -- the type of person you want on your lawsuit. He doesn't have a thick Southern accent -- again, important for a lawsuit that will be digested by a national audience.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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