(Phoenix, Ariz. -- March 24, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard said today he will not be joining lawsuits filed by 14 State Attorneys General to overturn federal health care legislation signed into law Tuesday.
Goddard said constitutional law experts on his staff, as well as many other legal scholars around the nation, regard the lawsuits as having little chance of prevailing.
"My Office has carefully examined both the federal health care legislation and the lawsuits challenging it. Our lawyers agree with the overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars of both parties that the lawsuits have little merit and that participating in them would be a waste of scarce taxpayer dollars," Goddard said. "These lawsuits will be considered in federal court with or without Arizona's participation."
"I call upon the Governor to focus Arizona's efforts on restoring KidsCare and requalifying for the billions of federal dollars we will lose if that crucial program is lost," Goddard added.
Goddard also noted that health care programs in Arizona operate differently than other states, which would complicate factual claims asserted by the States that have joined the lawsuit and could weaken their legal position.
"Our State's unique and successful AHCCCS program, coupled with our history of waiving certain federal Medicaid requirements and our recent effort to opt out of SCHIP (KidsCare), makes us different from the States filing the suit," he said. "Our facts simply don't match their allegations."