March 25th, 2010
07:19 PM ET

Georgia governor threatens health care lawsuit

Georgia's governor will pursue a lawsuit against the new federal health care bill, even if the state's attorney general refuses to do so, the governor's spokesman said Thursday.

Gov. Sonny Perdue, a Republican, opposes the health care bill because it will add 700,000 Georgians to the Medicaid program and require people to buy health insurance or face a penalty, said Bert Brantley, Perdue's director of communications.

The state's attorney general, Thurbert Baker, a Democrat, had advised Perdue against filing a lawsuit.

"The governor of this state asked me to give my legal opinion to see if there were any legal legs to overturn this health care bill," Baker told CNN on Thursday. "After looking at all the arguments raised around the country and going through analysis, I found that there is simply no legal basis to file a lawsuit."

According to Baker, pursuing a lawsuit would be "a waste of our tax dollars."

Brantley disputed the money issue, telling CNN that "a group of lawyers have come forward to offer their services pro bono to handle the lawsuit."

According to Brantley, Georgia's state constitution allows the governor to appoint another lawyer to act as attorney general if the elected attorney general fails to carry out the wishes of the governor. Brantley said Perdue would announce his plans for moving forward in coming days.

At least two other lawsuits have been filed against the health care bill - one by attorneys general from 13 states and another by the attorney general of Virginia. All but one of the attorneys general involved in those two lawsuits are Republican.

The situation in Georgia is the opposite of the political dynamic in Washington state, where Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire criticized Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna for joining in the multiple-state lawsuit and said she would actively oppose it.

Senior administration officials said Wednesday that they believe the health care bill can withstand any constitutional challenges.

- From CNN's Marylynn Ryan, with CNN's Tom Cohen contributing.

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soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. EcoAZ


    Stalinosi declared today in a neverending calvacade of hubris-ridden Pelosi moments: "The spoken word is power."


    March 26, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. George

    Thanks Sonny , I wasn't even thinking about making any political donation.

    Where exactly do I send my check to Thurbert Baker for his campaign?

    March 26, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Debby

    The enforcement of fines for personal choice should not be acceptable.
    No government that represents to United States should be concerted Alpha and Omega.
    Benjamin Franklin statement on the British powers : "Those who give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety." Thus said Americans should have choice not fines, Businesses should have choice not mandates
    Jobless rates,school closing,higher out of pocket expenses,states cutting programs due to loss of revenue. The focus that was placed on 'Health Care' should have been taken on repair of the economic system and private business. To date more jobs have been lost than created. The Governors that are working to repeal the 'Heath Care mandate.' Are correct in this action, Not all that oppose the Heath care mandate have a mental disorder and raciest.
    Lets deal with issues and facts not inflaming those that have concerns.

    March 26, 2010 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Geo

    The Health Care bill will "require people to buy health insurance or face a penalty." Doesn't the State of Georgia require vehicle owners to buy auto insurance to protect the innocent? Any correlation?

    March 26, 2010 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Geo

    Correction: Doesn't the State of Georgia require its citizens to buy auto insurance to get a tag for their vehicle in order to protect the innocent?

    March 26, 2010 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Nicole

    @ Debby: Quoting Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” How can you mention the unemployment rates in this country and completely ignore the fact that those people are uninsured. Maybe people don't realize this, but when unissued Americans and everyone else gets sick and needs medical attention the hospitals can't deny care, they see the patient, treatment them, and bill them for the services. So, what happens when they pay their bill? Wait, I want Debby to answer this question...that's right the next person with insurance that enters the hospital receives a higher bill for cover the expenses of their care and the care given to the unissued patient before them.

    So my question to all these "radical anti-social responsibility know-it-alls", do you want to pay for someone else medical bills or require all citizens to pay for their own bills? It's really that simple. It's similar to the common situation of being hit by an unissued, illegal motorist. They don't pay anything, but you the issued motorist have to pay for your own repairs regardless if it was your fault or not.

    March 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Heather

    Okay...Let's look at the states budget and how many state employee's (teachers) will lose there jobs which would cause the class sizes will be larger, the University System talking about closing programs, and other state employee's are currently Furloughing but the Governor wants to sue over a Healthcare Bill using tax payers money. Now that's funny!!!

    March 26, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steph"

    You're not required by law to purchase a car, there's a difference.

    March 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. alex

    You fools, keep on repeating the Party's talking points. Can't you understand the difference between requiring drivers of motorvehicles to purchase insurance and requiring each single individual in America to purchase a product for an unknown price amount for somebody else's profit until death or ELSE. If you want everything for free, move to Cuba. I have heard the health care system is really good there, there are no greedy corporations, and the executives' salaries are capped. They have lots of social justice and equality down there. Go and try it for yourself before you try to impose it on us. REPEAL ALL DEMOCRATS.

    March 26, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WideAwake

    I move here about 5 years ago from NYC. It is great living BUT I know understand why people said GA makes their own rules. I see that the Governor and all other elected officials fight for the rich but not the poor, however, I blame those who are less fortunate because they do not VOTE. This is why these types of congressional people can use fear and intimidation to get what they want.

    Sonny, Chambliss, Isakson need to sit down and shut up.

    2010 we need to Repeal and Replace these Obstructionist

    March 26, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Trent


    No one is giving up liberty. The phrase has no negative relation to the health care bill. If anything, the phrase would apply to mean that we should give up a few dollars a month to insure that we and our loved ones remain healthy. Being denied health care due to pre-conditions can happen to anyone.

    Secondly, what else do you want Obama to do about the economy? Build a time machine and keep Bush from being elected? Oh wait, you LIKED that. He was a Republican. You just like to bitch and moan about what happened afterwards now that we have a Democrat president. You would probably re-elect the idiot again if there were no election term limits. America elected him a second time, why wouldn't idiots vote for him a third?

    March 27, 2010 at 5:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Thank You Sonny

    Thanks Sonny , I wasn't even thinking about making any political donation.

    Where exactly do I send my check to YOU for your campaign?

    March 28, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |

    Our country was built on the right to pursue happiness, freedom of the people and the rights of the states. Our constitution was written to restrain the federal government from infringing on those rights. The health care bill steps over the boundaries in so many ways, that anyone who can claim it to be constitutional has lost touch with the foundamental principles our country was founded on.
    I am a Georgia native and I am also a person who came from near poverty partially due to high medical bills during my childhood. I went on to put myself through college and build a successful career. Given that both issues have impacted me personally in my life, if you ask me what rights I would fight for with all my energy and passion – it's the right to freedom of choice. The right to pursuit of happiness. The right to enjoy the fruits of my labor and not have them taken by overtaxing due to being in a category deemed "the rich" or by an unconstitutional mandate.
    Our country promises opportunity, not entitlement. I am proof that it works – rags to "so-called" riches without any hand-outs along the way. Take that opportunity from me and my children and take away all that this country was founded on.
    This bill is a travesty – Sonny's words and I say Sonny, thank you for doing what our founding fathers did and standing up for our rights to freedom!

    March 28, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  14. Want my USA back

    “If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions.” James Madison, Father of the Constition

    Seems pretty clear to me! Go Sonny!

    March 28, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |