Conservatives Arm Troops for Health Care Legal War

Pass that bill, Obama. We dare you.

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Republicans are already looking ahead to what happens if health care reform passes this weekend.  The GOP, as the MSNBC First Read team notes, "has an interesting task ahead of them: keep the issue in the news for the long haul (at least until November), especially since so little of this health-care plan goes into effect this year."

Whether or not the plots to circumvent and nullify the bill are mere theater, there are plenty of plans already being hatched. Most hinge on Democratic attempts to pass the bill through iffy procedures like the so-called Slaughter Rule. Rep. Michelle Bachmann is telling her supporters they shouldn't follow an illegitimate law, while the National Review's John Hood is calling for non-compliance and a possible lawsuit. Mark Levin, a lawyer as well as a radio jockey, is one step ahead,  having drafted up the suit with the help of the Landmark Legal Foundation. A few state governments are hinting at their own legal challenges. Then there are bloggers crying for a whole array of possible actions. Here's the run-down:
  • If Legitimate, Repeal, If Illegitimate, Disobey  "If they pass the bill legitimately, then yes, we have to follow the law--until we repeal it,"  Michelle Bachmann tells a crowd of supporters (video below). "But if they pass it illegitimately, then the bill is illegitimate, and we don't have to lay down for this ... We are not helpless, there are things that we can do."
  • 'I Will Not Comply,' declares the National Review's John Hood at the Carolina Journal. "I'm not going to pretend to obey any dictates from federal health-care bureaucrats that have never been authorized by a constitutional vote of both houses of Congress ... If the government tries to make me comply, I'll sue. And I'll win." Urged on by National Review readers, he's started a Facebook group around the idea.
  • Huh?  But Hood's National Review colleague Ramesh Ponnuru is confused (as are others): "What does that mean, John? Are you going to refuse to buy insurance? Set up your own insurance company and sell non-compliant policies? Not pay your taxes?"
  • The Lawsuit's All Ready to Go  Mark Levin lists himself and the Landmark Legal Foundation as plaintiffs, and Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sibelius as defendants. Levin makes it clear on his show that he thinks passing this bill would violate the Constitution, and that it is his civic duty to file this suit.
  • 'Game On'  At conservative blog hub RedState, hogan sums up all the possible options for thwarting Democrats in a single breathless paragraph:
We fight in the Senate. We get our states to pass laws contrary to this unconstitutional intrusion by the national government (see: 30 states have taken or are taking action… do more). We sue--and sue in multiple places for multiple reasons (see, e.g. Levin above, VA AG Ken Cucinelli preparing to sue, and numerous other states as well). We crush democrats in the fall (give money to conservative candidates like Marco Rubio, Mike Lee in Utah over establishmentarian and pro-government healthcare Bob Bennett), we repeal it (see:– and most of all, we all simply say, "hell no."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.