Washington State Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna became the target of a lawsuit filed Thursday in King County Superior Court by a group of women with the support of Fuse Washington, a progressive group that has already endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee.
The suit claims that McKenna’s involvement in the multistate legal challenge to the national health care law commonly known as Obamacare now before the U.S. Supreme Court has been unethical because of the plaintiffs’ opinion that the law contains provisions that are beneficial to state residents.
Leading the legal team for the plaintiffs is Seattle attorney Knoll Lowney, notable for having filed mid-election lawsuits against Republican candidates such as Dino Rossi in 2008 and Mike Magavick in 2006.
State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur did not pull any punches in an official statement released Thursday afternoon, charging that political motivations were the sole basis for the suit.
“Congressman Inslee and his extreme allies have officially thrown in the towel on any new ideas for this campaign,” said Wilbur. “It seems a little early for Inslee to resort to calling in that noted loser of lawsuits Knoll Lowney, to make one of his typically dubious legal claims against a Republican candidate, but since Inslee doesn’t have any positive solutions for the state, I guess he has to resort to scurrilous partisan attacks.”
There is merit to Wilbur’s charge. Like any good nuisance suit, even a quick attempt at tracing the merits and cause of action leaves one in knots.
Inasmuch as the plaintiffs argue that, because they may personally benefit in some ways from the national health care law, the challenge to the law does harm, a line of reasoning which skips blithely past the question of whether the law that extends said benefit is constitutionally legitimate, the very question that McKenna’s lawsuit seeks to answer.
Furthermore, the case description on the website of Smith & Lowney is little more than a retread of recent liberal talking points:
Other plaintiffs depend upon the ACA for comprehensive birth control coverage, and their right to obtain contraception and other preventative care without cost-sharing. Without the ACA, the plaintiffs and women across the state will have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars every year for birth control and preventative care which they can receive for free under the ACA.
Furthermore, Smith & Lowney’s question and answer page for the suit suggests that McKenna’s actions are illegitimate strictly because of his gender, an implied argument that men should be deprived of having a voice on issues regarding women’s health care:
Moreover, thirteen male attorneys general* lack moral standing to decide the fate of women’s health care.
Of course, the implied advocacy for gender segregation in politics obscures some flagrant cherry-picking on the subject of when male opinions about public policy are permissible and when they are not.
Between the votes of hundreds of male Democrats in Congress and Pres. Barack Obama (male) signing the bill they passed into law, the Obamacare law itself was a decision to decide the fate of the health care of millions of Americans, women included. Does the plaintiffs’ claim that men do not have “moral standing” whenever public policy and women’s issues intersect create a paradox in which Obamacare itself is invalid?
Of course not. The lawsuit filed today does not challenge the moral standing of those men, the ones who decide in favor of costly, coerced solutions, only the one who is running as a Republican for Washington State Governor and seeks to unravel the entire mess.