Lawyers and judges packed a hotel ballroom during a conference of the Richmond Bar Association today to hear the governor speak about Virginia's opposition to the new federal health care legislation signed earlier this year by President Obama.
McDonnell says requiring individuals to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, abusing the mandate that Congress regulate commerce between the states.
"There is a legitimate question, I believe, that if the commerce clause can be used to mandate that you purchase a product of insurance that there are virtually no limits left to the scope of authority that the federal government has under the commerce clause," McDonnell says.
He described the lawsuit against Obama's health care plan as an example of Virginia acting as what Thomas Jefferson called a laboratory of democracy.
"As iron sharpens iron, I think the states sharpen the states," McDonnell says.
A ruling on the lawsuit is expected before the end of the year.