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Mad about the health care mandate? 14 states sue to halt federal requirement

by AirTalk

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Michigan State Rep. Tom McMillin holds a ballot initiative opposing the new federal health care bill he hopes to have added to ballot in November March 22, 2010 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Just minutes after President Barack Obama signed it into law, attorneys general from 13 states sued the feds, saying the health care law is unconstitutional. “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage,'' the lawsuit says. (A fourteenth state, Virginia, filed a separate suit). The Federal Government has certainly mandated other things, such as a military draft and income tax. So is the constitutional argument valid? And what are the chances of this lawsuit overturning the health care law?


Vikram Amar, professor of Law at UC Davis

Ilya Somin, associate professor of law at George Mason University

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