Without debate, the Tennessee Senate voted 21-7 Monday night to urge the state attorney general to join 16 other states in a lawsuit seeking to block national health care reform.
The states already suing charge that the law exceeds Congress’ powers to regulate commerce, violates 10th Amendment protections of state sovereignty, and imposes an unconstitutional direct tax.
Attorney General Bob Cooper is reviewing whether to join that lawsuit, according to his spokeswoman, Sharon Curtis-Flair.
Cooper has issued an advisory opinion on state legislation that purports to nullify the national law. That bill, the so-called Health Freedom Act, likely would be ruled a violation of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, which holds that federal law supersedes those of the states, Cooper said in his opinion.
If Cooper refuses to join the other states’ lawsuit, Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey has said he might ask the legislature to hire a special counsel to act.