Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit voted to kick Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act out of court. ThinkProgress spoke with Cuccinelli about the ruling this past weekend at the Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC. The attorney general was unfazed about his defeat, arguing that “this was always going to be decided at the Supreme Court.” When we asked what his next step would be if his challenge were to meet a similar fate in the Supreme Court, Cuccinelli proposed a radical solution: rewrite the Constitution to make the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.
KEYES: Did you take it to heart that the Circuit Court didn’t side with you guys?
CUCCINELLI: This was always going to be decided at the Supreme Court. We’re 1–1 at the moment and we’ll see what the Supreme Court has to say and finish it up.
KEYES: And what if they don’t end up ruling your way? What next?
CUCCINELLI: We’ll have to reassess at that point. Then we’ve got a much more powerful federal government than we had anticipated. If people are up to it, that’s going to take a constitutional amendment to reduce. Just if all you care about is the health care bill you’ve got to get it repealed. Those battles happen at the ballot box.
As CAP’s legal expert Ian Millhiser explains, the Affordable Care Act is clearly constitutional and should survive challenges from Cuccinelli and other tenther conservatives. Because Cuccinelli cannot tolerate this outcome, however, he apparently thinks the solution is to simply to rewrite the Constitution to fit his worldview. The law may be constitutional now, but it sure as heck won’t be after conservatives like Cuccinelli change the rules.