By Jonathan Wilson
The fight over health care legislation may be coming to a close on Capitol Hill with last night's historic vote. But the fight between Virginia's leaders and the federal government over individual health insurance mandates could officially begin this week.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says once President Obama signs the new federal health care legislation, he'll waste no time filing a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality.
Cuccinelli says he expects Obama to sign the bill on Tuesday.
"If he signs it into law early in the day, well file it that afternoon," says Cuccinelli.
Virginia's General Assembly made the legal challenge possible by passing the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act, which makes individual health insurance mandates illegal in Virginia.
Cuccinelli concedes that federal law trumps state law under the supremacy clause.
"However, because we contend that the underlying federal law is unconstitutional, Virginia's law should prevail, and the federal law should fall," he says.
Virginia will file the suit in the Eastern District of Virginia and Cuccinelli says a decision from that court could come six months from now. The losing side would appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.