Kansas AG-elect looks to join challenge to federal health care law

Jessica M. Karmasek Nov. 17, 2010, 12:43pm


TOPEKA, Kan. (Legal Newsline) -- Kansas is looking to join the ongoing legal challenge to President Barack Obama's federal health care law.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, Kansas Attorney General-elect Derek Schmidt said he expects to bring the state into the multi-state lawsuit against the federal government soon after he takes office.

Schmidt, a Republican, told the AP he believes many voters are "concerned" that the government is assuming too much power.

The new attorney general takes office Jan. 10. He defeated incumbent Attorney General Steve Six, a Democrat, in the general election earlier this month.

Six has said joining the health care suit isn't a good use of the state's resources.

Schmidt said on Tuesday he would most likely try to join the 20-state lawsuit headed up by outgoing Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

The group of states has argued that requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or face a $695 yearly penalty is unconstitutional.

Just last week, Schmidt announced that a former senior deputy attorney general will lead his transition team.

He has chosen John Campbell, who served as the Kansas' deputy AG from 1995 to 2003 under then-Attorney General Carla Stovall.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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