State News

Senate GOP leader wants N.C. to sue on health care

Posted March 24, 2010 1:02 p.m. EDT
Updated March 24, 2010 2:28 p.m. EDT

— The Republican leader in the North Carolina Senate wants state Attorney General Roy Cooper to sue to try to block the massive health care overhaul signed into law by President Obama.

Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County wrote to Cooper on Wednesday, urging him to join 13 other attorneys general challenging the constitutionality of the law pushed by Democrats.

Berger told Cooper that protecting the constitution isn't a partisan issue and joining the case would show that state elected officials are doing everything they can to protect individual rights. Cooper is a Democrat.

Cooper spokeswoman Noelle Talley said earlier this week that state attorneys are reviewing information sent to them from other attorneys general, which is routine with all issues.

State Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer also called on Cooper to challenge the constitutionality of the reform legislation.

"The federal government has taken an unprecedented and unwarranted step into the lives of North Carolinians,” Fetzer said in a statement. “North Carolinians are overwhelmingly opposed to this usurpation of power, and it is incumbent upon state leaders, most notably the attorney general, to do everything in their power to protect our citizens’ right to make their own health care decisions."

Berger and House Minority Leader Paul Stam said in January that they would file bills to protect state residents from the federal mandate.