Perdue appoints special counsel for health care lawsuit

ATLANTA – Gov. Sonny Perdue is moving forward with a legal challenge to the controversial health care law, according to published reports.

Perdue today appointed Macon attorney Frank Jones as special counsel to head up the challenge, The Associated Press reported.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a Democrat who is running for governor, previously said he would not sue the federal government over the law. According to state officials, Georgia and 18 other states are suing the federal government over the new law, which requires people to buy health insurance.

“The importance of this legal challenge demands the very best representation possible, and that is exactly what the state is receiving from Frank C. Jones,” Perdue said in a news release, according to The Macon Telegraph and wltz.com. “Frank is one of the best and most respected lawyers in the state. We are grateful he recognizes the importance of this challenge and is taking up the cause on behalf of Georgians.”

Thirteen states filed a federal lawsuit in the Federal Court’s Northern District of Florida on March 23, 2010. Georgia is the sixth state to join the lawsuit since it was filed.

“We welcome Georgia to our efforts to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens as well as the sovereignty of our states,” Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said in a news release. “The federal government cannot mandate that all citizens buy qualifying health care coverage or be forced to pay a tax penalty – this is unconstitutional.

“We will aggressively pursue this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty, and encroachment on our freedom.”

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