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The Cucinelli Follies, Redux

Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli can’t help himself. Shortly after getting slapped down by his own governor, Bob McDonnell, for directing the state’s universities to rescind whatever anti-discrimination policies they had protecting their LGBT communities, his not-so-inner cultural warrior came out during an interview where he referred to gay and lesbian “acts” as detrimental to society. (Please don’t get me started.) So there was the basis for his letter to the schools; a letter that I opined was both unnecessary and legally flawed (a conclusion that was later backed up for by a former Virginia AG).

Now comes Cuccinelli revving up a lawsuit against the new health care reform bill (likely to be filed once the thing is finally enacted). The basis of the suit is that Congress has no authority to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. Here, though, he has less choice because the Virginia legislature passed one of these vogue laws that purports to defend its citizens against any federal mandate. So it’s his job to argue for that law in court. But he’ll lose, for the reasons my colleague Andy Fichter made clear in his op-ed article yesterday. (It’s a good, clear read for non-lawyers.) This is just one more hare-brained effort to short-circuit the legitimate legislative process. Throw some bricks through a Democratic congresswoman’s window, shout “baby killer” on the floor of the House, argue that the bill can’t go through Senate reconciliation because it involves money (and so does Social Security! and you can’t do that through reconciliation), storm into Congress on the eve of the vote to bully and insult legislators — it’s all fair game, now. Good losers, they’re not, but whatever has happened to the respect we owe each other in civil society?

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