Arizona AG Horne: Supreme Court ruling could end "coercion" of states

June 28, 2012

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says he was surprised by today’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act by the U.S. Supreme Court. But he thinks a part of that decision could set the stage for a new legal doctrine. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: Horne, a critic of the law, says he didn’t expect the high court to uphold it under Congress’ taxing power, since that wasn’t a major focus during oral arguments. But Horne says the decision to limit Medicaid expansion, and require states to be able to choose whether or not to take part, could be important down the road.

TOM HORNE: The way in which the federal government has expanded its powers in a way not contemplated by the Constitution has been to tax people and then say they won’t spend the money in your state, unless you abide by the regulations. And, for the first time in the history of the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court has said there is a limit to that. And, I think that could turn out to be an extremely significant legal development.

BRODIE: Horne believes this could be the development of a new doctrine, in which the high court limits the federal government’s ability to, in his words, “micromanage our lives.”

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