Gov. Tim Pawlenty took legal action on Thursday and joined 20 other states in protesting President Barack Obama’s federal health care law.
Pawlenty, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, and Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri, filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of a federal court filing in Pensacola, Fla., where a judge ruled last month that parts of a lawsuit filed by other states challenging the law can go to trial. Both governors are leaving office soon.
The governors argue that the law is a “federal government overreach into state budgets to secure unknown, long-term financial commitments that will eliminate or reduce other state priorities,” according to a statement released by Pawlenty’s office.
Pawlenty has released an executive order directing state agencies to avoid discretionary grants related to the health law, and recently said he would make repealing “Obamacare” a key point of his potential run for president.
“Obamacare represents an unconstitutional power grab by the federal government that undermines freedom and state’s rights that needs to be stopped,” Pawlenty said in a statement.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson in April turned down a request from Pawlenty to join the other states and sue over the new federal health care law. Swanson instead filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the federal government.