The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion today to dismiss the constitutional challenge to Congress' health care reform bill, which 19 Attorneys General including Washington's Rob McKenna, are working on.

McKenna had this to say about the motion:

"The Justice Department’s motion today demonstrates that the federal government views this lawsuit as a serious threat. Nothing in this motion changes the states’ view that we will prevail."

The Attorneys General, as well as the National Federation of Independent Business and "persons affected by the individual mandate," which are also backing the lawsuit, aren't challenging the health care reform bill in its entirety, rather just the individual mandate which they call a "direct tax or penalty that violates the U.S. Constitution" and what they call an illegal expansion of federal powers that is threatening state sovereignty.

Dan Sytman, spokesman for the AG's office, said McKenna is actively working on some aspects of the lawsuit through conference calls and consultation.

Governor Gregoire has recently taken away the AG's office's rolling exemption to hire outside counsel without consulting her first in an effort to stunt McKenna's work on the lawsuit, but apparently the AG has taken matters into his own hands, which he's allowed to do. (The Democrats in Olympia had threatened to tie McKenna's hands, but they backed off.)
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