State Sen. Val Stevens signs letter of support for McKenna's health care lawsuit

OLYMPIA — Sen. Val Stevens was among a group of state republicans who recently signed and submitted a letter of support to Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Stevens (R-Arlington) was one of 16 members of the Senate Republican Caucus to sign the letter, which supports McKenna's claim that the recently passed national health care bill is unconstitutional.

"We respect the separation of powers and strongly support your decision to act on behalf of the citizens of Washington," wrote Senate Republican Deputy Floor Leader Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside). "As an independently elected official and the chief legal advocate for our state, you have a right and duty to pursue the protection of the citizens of this state from an unconstitutional action by the federal government."

McKenna has said that he will join a 13-state lawsuit challenging the national health care bill signed by President Barack Obama.

The letter states that the caucus members agree that state health-care reform is needed, but not if it circumvents the Constitution.

"It would be shortsighted to avoid pertinent constitutional questions in favor of the more politically advantageous route," Honeyford wrote. "We are encouraged by your commitment to protecting the individual liberty we cherish, and by your lack of partisanship in joining with Democratic and Republican attorneys general in seeking to address this question."

The lawsuit, filed in Florida federal court, challenges the health-care law that health insurance must be purchased by everybody, and said it is an "unprecedented encroachment" on individual liberty.

Twelve of the 13 attorneys general in the lawsuit are Republicans.

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