BY JIM NOLAN
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in the legal challenges to President Barack Obama’s health care plan.
Virginia Attorney Ken Cuccinelli, who was among the first to challenge the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not a direct participant in the litigation, given the fact that the Supreme Court has delayed consideration of Virginia’s challenge until after it hears challenges filed by Florida on behalf of more than two dozen states.
But that does not mean Cuccinelli will be a passive bystander in the landmark litigation.
Cuccinelli will also provide daily commentary and analysis on each day of the arguments, starting Monday. Aides said he is scheduled to appear on a number of cable news shows offering his perspective.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case over three days. Tuesday is considered the most critical day in the case, when the court is expected to hear arguments on the constitutionality of the health insurance mandate.
The attorney general’s office has already filed an amicus brief supporting the challenge, contending that the individual insurance mandate provision of the ACA is an unconstitutional overreach of congressional authority.
The insurance mandate would require nearly every American to obtain health insurance by 2014 or face a penalty. Cuccinelli and his attorneys have argued that the Americans can not be compelled by the government to engage in commerce.
Virginiais among a number of states that have balked at setting up a health insurance benefits exchange, which would be responsible for administering and overseeing the implementation of the law should it be upheld by the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on the case in June.
Friday marked the two-year anniversary of Obama’s signing of the health care law – the same day Cuccinelli filedVirginia’s legal challenge.
The attorney general noted that the law was signed and challenged on the 235th anniversary of Patrick Henry’s celebrated “Give me liberty or give me death,” speech atSt. John’sChurch inRichmond.
Cuccinelli has repeatedly saidVirginia’s lawsuit is “not about health care- it’s about liberty.”