Rob McKenna is being sued by some 90 women. The reason is his participation in the Attorneys General lawsuit against the 2009 Patient Protection and Affordable Care act (i.e. “Obamacare”). The group argues that:
[…] McKenna violated his ethical duties as an attorney by pushing for the entire health-care law to be overturned; that McKenna should be forced to file a corrective pleading with the US Supreme Court saying that he only opposes the individual mandate aspect of the health care law, which requires every US citizen to get insurance; and that the court should find McKenna guilty of issuing “false and misleading statements” about the health care law because he claimed that his lawsuit was aimed not at overturning the entire act, but only at eliminating the individual mandate.
McKenna has been lying to Washingtonians. He has repeatedly claimed that he supports some aspects of the law, all the while participating in the effort to overturn the entire law.
Today we learn that King County Superior Court judge Sharon Armstrong will not issue preliminary injunction directing McKenna to fix the inconsistencies between his public and legal positions by amending his Supreme Court briefings.
The meme in the mainstream media seems to chalk the ruling up as a perliminary victory for McKenna. But Publicola political uberwonks Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit (now at Crosscut) catch the more nuanced meaning of the ruling—the courts won’t judge McKenna for his political lies:
Although King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong’s rejection of a request to enjoin McKenna from arguing against the federal health care law certainly looks like a win for McKenna, the ruling effectively finds that, contrary to his public statements, he has in his legal motions consistently opposed the entire Affordable Care Act, not just the requirement that every American buy health insurance. The judge specifically said that McKenna’s public statements were “political statements” that had to be judged in the political realm rather than the courtroom. As to McKenna’s going along with other states’ attorneys general in seeking to have the law overturned in its entirety, Armstrong said the court lacked authority to second-guess whether it was a wise legal strategy.
In other words, Judge Armstrong leaves it to the voters of Washington to judge McKenna for his political lies.