In an opinion piece published in the National Law Journal, Prof. Timothy Stoltzfus Jost of Washington and Lee University School of Law argues that the attorneys general lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is so frivolous, that the attorneys involved should be sanctioned, and made personally liable for paying the legal expenses of the federal government in defending itself.
This complaint not only represents shockingly shoddy lawyering but should be recognized by the courts for what it in fact is: A pleading whose key claims are without support in the law and the facts. The attorneys who brought this case — solely for political purposes — should have to bear personally the cost of defending this litigation that they are imposing on federal taxpayers.
Read the whole thing. Prof. Jost not only succinctly lays out the flaws in the attorneys’ constitutional arguments, but in their factual pleadings as well. The law simply doesn’t do what Rob McKenna and his cohorts claim it does. It’s kinda stunning.
But if the attorneys might be held liable for bearing the legal costs imposed on federal taxpayers, shouldn’t McKenna also be personally responsible for covering the legal costs he’s imposing on state taxpayers?
His office keeps trying to make the argument that the only cost to the state will be McKenna’s own time spent on the case… but of course it relentlessly makes this argument on the public dime. And now we learn that due to McKenna’s conflict of interest, the state will have to hire an outside attorney to represent Gov. Gregoire in her efforts on behalf of Washington citizens to oppose his lawsuit.
All this costs money. And if McKenna’s lawsuit is as legally frivolous as Prof. Jost says it is, I sure hope Gov. Gregoire has her attorney sue McKenna to recover the legal fees incurred.