Thursday, March 25, 2010

Georgia governor will file suit over health care without state's AG

Yesterday Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker told Governor Sonny Perdue that he would not pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the state to block the health care legislation signed into law this week.  Today Sonny Perdue announced that the suit will go forward without the state's lead attorney:
Gov. Sonny Perdue said Thursday he will appoint a “special attorney general” to challenge federal health care legislation signed into law this week by President Obama.

Perdue made the announcement a day after state Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat running for governor, told Perdue, a Republican, he would not pursue a lawsuit.

“He’s refusing to do that and I can’t force him to do that,” Perdue said of Baker.

Meanwhile, Georgia Democratic Party chairwoman Jane Kidd this morning sent Perdue a lengthy Open Records Act request, demanding copies of correspondence between his office and Republican organizations around the country.

The governor said the state constitution gives him the leeway to appoint a special attorney general if the elected attorney general fails to carry out the wishes of the governor.

Perdue said several groups of attorneys have volunteered to handle the state’s lawsuit for free. He said he expects to make a decision on a team as soon as possible, but did not set a deadline. Perdue has the support of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Senate Republican Caucus, all of whom said late Wednesday the support the governor’s efforts.

The governor said the state will probably go it alone on the suit to avoid any costs. If Georgia joined with the other 14 state challenging the health legislation, it would incur some legal costs, Perdue said. One of Baker’s objections to filing a suit was its possible financial impact on the state during a time of withering revenues.
There's a mild buzz about impeaching the Attorney General for his insubordination.  Section IV Paragraph IV of the Georgia Constitution states:
Attorney General; duties. The Attorney General shall act as the legal advisor of the executive department, shall represent the state in the Supreme Court in all capital felonies and in all civil and criminal cases in any court when required by the Governor, and shall perform such other duties as shall be required by law. (emphasis mine)
In a perfect world, I would say such an impeachment effort would be a slam dunk.  However, economic times are difficult and most citizens of Georgia want their elected officials focused on jobs and repealing the health care bill.  Baker will be replaced in a November election anyway. (He's actually running for governor).

1 comment:

  1. I just listen to Georgia Attorney General speak on Chris Matthews hardball and folks should listen to his narrow rational to why he won't protect Georgians constitutional rights. He said he did not see where Healthcare bill is a concern and against constitutional right. Fact one he compared his rational to a
    defeited Federal issue and it did not compare apples to apples. This dispute is Federal and State. State and Federal are 2 different entities. Federal has no right to mandate and it is supose to be State choice and if a person wants something different than they can move to another State that chooses socialistic medicine. VOTE and get rid of those who won't listen to the people.