Ken Cucinelli Pursues Individual Mandate Appeal

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 05, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli isn’t giving up on his Affordable Care Act challenge quite yet.

After the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that 26 state plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the Act, Cucinelli, better known to healthcare reform watchers as the driving force behind one of the two individual mandate lawsuits the Fourth Circuit rejected in September, asked the Supreme Court to examine the standing ruling.

Cucinelli claims that the plaintiff-states outside of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal's jurisdiction could refuse to implement the health care plan, but circuit states Virginia, West Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Maryland could not; an anomaly that Cucinelli says the High Court should address, reports Politico.

Cucinelli's appeal has not received much news coverage; media outlets, instead, are focusing on Thomas More Law Center's appeal from an en banc Sixth Circuit decision, and the Obama Administration's decision to skip an Eleventh Circuit en banc appeal and move straight to the Supreme Court.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Cucinelli's case, Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius, in September, finding that "A state possesses no legitimate interest in protecting its citizens from the government of the United States." Cucinelli disputes that conclusion, claiming, ""The Founding Fathers fully intended that the states would serve as a check on federal power," reports Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Fourth Circuit similarly dismissed Liberty University v. Timothy Geithner, finding that Liberty University's challenge to the individual mandate penalties could not be reviewed under the Anti-Injunction Act (AIA).

For updates on Ken Cucinelli's appeal to the Supreme Court, check out FindLaw's Supreme Court blog.

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