Oklahoma to file federal healthcare lawsuit, AG-elect says
BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, January 07, 2011
1/07/11 at 1:56 PM
Related story: House Republicans try to repeal health-care law
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General-elect Scott Pruitt on Friday said Oklahoma will file its own lawsuit seeking to overturn federal healthcare reform.
"This is a monumental day for the state of Oklahoma," Pruitt said.
Pruitt, a Republican who will be sworn in Monday, said Oklahoma will be the 26th state to challenge the federal legislation.
Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, a Democrat who made a failed bid to become governor, last year said efforts would be futile and a waste of money and declined to challenge the federal law.
Pruitt said with the Nov. 2 passage of State Question 756, Oklahoma has standing to challenge the measure. State Question 756 added a provision to the state's constitution that said residents can't be forced to participate in a health care system. State law is now at odds with the federal legislation that mandates the purchase of health care, Pruitt said.
Pruitt said the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution can only be invoked when Congress acts within its authority, something which did no occur with the passage of federal healthcare reform.
Challenging the measure was a major campaign platform for Pruitt in the race.
Pruitt said two attorneys within his office will file the suit in federal district court shortly after Monday. He said the measure would not require additional resources or the reallocation of resources within the office.
In this April 2010 file photo, Scott Pruitt, then-candidate for Attorney General, speaks at the Association of Black Republicans meeting. SHERRY BROWN/Tulsa World File