Thursday, March 25, 2010

AG Jim Hood to Gov. Haley Barbour: Cool your jets, man

Immediately after passage of the new health care insurance reform legislation, Gov. Barbour issued an ultimatum to AG Hood, telling him to file suit against the federal government on behalf of the State of Mississippi by noon today, or else Barbour would go ahead and file it himself.

There are, of course, a couple of problems with this.  First, the bill's about 1000 pages long, so no one can say for certain what portions of it would be subject to legal challenge.  Second, the "fix" bill hasn't yet been passed, meaning that the legislation's still a moving target, which would make legal action premature at this point.  Third, the "legal" arguments put forward against the new law aren't very strong thus far.  In fact, they border on pathetic.  (Will Bardwell's got a great set of posts on this, here and here.)  Which brings us to the fourth point: Barbour's supposed to be against frivolous lawsuits, right?

Anyway, Hood says he needs more time to study the legislation and make a determination.  In a letter to Barbour today, Hood tells Barbour this.  In addition, and perhaps most interestingly, Hood tells Barbour that Barbour is not authorized to file suit on behalf of the State.  What happens if Barbour thumbs his nose at Hood and files suit anyway?

h/t Clarion-Ledger for the copy of the letter

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