It's been a full day, not the type you plan for when trying to ease into a holiday weekend. First, it was two hours in a federal courthouse waiting for, and then sitting through, arguments by the Department of Justice and the Office of Attorney General as to why Virginia's lawsuit against the federal health care law should be, respectively, dismissed and go forward to trial (see the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog). More on that later (lots of legalese to sort through before a long weekend). But we wanted to be the first (and perhaps only) blog (or any media) in Virginia to provide video of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's entire post-hearing news conference (see AG's news center for news release). At least we didn't see any other bloggers with cameras in attendance and television stations typically don't post entire events online. By the way, there was a fairly large contingent of media assembled for this. At the time of this post, there are 200-plus articles on it per a Google search (state and national publications), highly unusual for a hearing on a motion to dismiss. Imagine what it will be like in October of the case proceeds. Judge Henry Hudson (who presided over the Michael Vick dog fighting trial)said in court today that his decision on that matter will come within 30 days.
Because of YouTube criteria, we broke the news conference into three parts (see our YouTube channel). Please share it with others (it can be viewed on mobile devices as well). The attorney general opens with a statement outlining the constitutional principles behind the lawsuit and summarizes the arguments from both sides at the hearing. He then takes questions from the media about three minutes into part 2.
Part 1 (9:25):
This lawsuit is not about health care. It is about liberty. ... Today we were protecting the U.S. Constitution and Virginia statutes as my oath of office calls for.
Part 2 (9:37):
Since 1819. ... A penalty for inaction is not a tax of any kind known in our constitutional history.
Part 3 (8:53)
The state is a separate sovereign entity in our constitutional system. It was set up by The Founders to the benefit of all our citizens. I was very clear in my campaign that if the federal government overstepped it's proper boundaries that Virginia would fight back.