Virginia’s fiery attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, who argued against the constitutionality of the health care law in federal court this week, has a new line: President Obama is worse than King George III, the English king in power when Americans declared independence in 1776.
Cuccinelli said Monday that at no other time in American history had a government forced citizens to purchase a product and gotten away with it, even the British King that sparked the American Revolution.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in April contains a provision that requires citizens to buy health insurance. Virginia’s lawsuit argues that the mandate is beyond the powers of the federal government, as defined in the Constitution. (A Massachusetts state measure, championed by former governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, requires everyone in the state to have insurance.)
In 1774, the American colonists signed onto a document that notified King George III that Americans would boycott British goods until the so-called “Intolerable Acts” were lifted. Speaking like a history professor, Cuccinelli told the story of how American colonists boycotted British products in response to the Acts more than 200 years ago.
“The King’s own lawyer, his solicitor general, advised him that the boycott was legal under British law and that Americans could not be forced to buy British goods,” Cuccinelli said. “Yet in 2010 we have a Congress and a president that have enacted a law that compels Americans for the first time in history under the guise of regulating commerce, that they must buy a private product even when the King of England and the parliament that we rebelled against acknowledged that they should not have the authority to compel us to do that when we were their subjects.”
The Obama administration has countered that Congress has the power to mandate health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The battle over the mandate is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.