Attorney General Swanson says “no” to health care lawsuit


Following the passage of health care reform in Congress, Gov. Tim Pawlenty urged Attorney General Lori Swanson to file suit on behalf of the state of Minnesota to block provisions of the health care reform plan. Last month, Swanson opted to hold off, since the law won’t go into full effect for four years. But on Monday, Swanson sent a letter to Pawlenty stating that not only was she not going to file suit against the federal government, but that her office would likely file a friend of the court brief in support of the constitutionality of health care reform.

Swanson’s letter (pdf) to Pawlenty said:

Based upon my legal analysis and review of the Constitution and applicable legal authority, I have determined that a lawsuit by the state of Minnesota against the United States of America is not warranted and, accordingly, I will not be filing such a lawsuit. I have further determined to file an amicus brief in support of the United States to set forth what I believe to be a correct reading of the Constitution. I have made these decisions in fulfillment of the oath I took at Attorney General to uphold the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Minnesota.

I leave it to your discretion as to filing an amicus brief with the federal court in your individual capacity as Governor to articulate your views about the legislation.

Swanson said that Pawlenty was free to lend his support to any lawsuit against the federal government in his capacity as governor.