The Norman Transcript

State/Region

August 13, 2013

US judge denies motion to dismiss Oklahoma lawsuit

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge Monday denied most of the federal government’s motion to dismiss Oklahoma’s legal challenge to implementation of the new federal health care law.

In a 27-page decision, U.S. District Judge Ronald White of Muskogee rejected assertions by government lawyers that the state of Oklahoma lacked legal standing to challenge implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The decision means that Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who filed a lawsuit challenging the law in 2011, can continue to present his case in court.

Oklahoma challenged implementation of the Affordable Care Act after the Internal Revenue Service finalized a rule allowing the federal government to punish “large employers,” including state governments, with millions of dollars in penalties in states without state health care exchanges, like Oklahoma. Pruitt maintains the health care law does not permit that.

“The court finds plaintiff has made sufficient plausible allegations supporting standing for the state of Oklahoma in its capacity as a large employer,” White ruled.

Pruitt said he was encouraged by the court’s ruling in the case.

“We’re optimistic the court will recognize what states have known for months that the IRS disregarded the law by making the large employer mandate effective in Oklahoma or in any of the 33 other states without a state health care exchange,” Pruitt said.

White granted the government’s motion to dismiss other parts of the lawsuit, including one that attacks the individual mandate portion of the health care law that requires all citizens to purchase private health insurance or pay a penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that Congress lacks the power under the Constitution’s commerce clause to put the mandate in place, but it said the government does have the power to impose a tax on people without health insurance.

An after-hours telephone call to Joel McElvain, senior trial counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil division in Washington, D.C., was not immediately returned.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Fallin disappointed SBAdenied loans

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin said Thursday she is disappointed that a federal agency denied a request for loans to businesses in two Oklahoma towns affected by an emergency bridge closure....

    April 18, 2014

  • Oklahoma Senate approves limits on abortion drug

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to further restrict the use of abortion-inducing drugs in Oklahoma in a bill written in direct response to a recent state Supreme Court decision....

    April 16, 2014

  • March Oklahoma revenue misses mark by 9.1 percent

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s finance secretary says collections by the general revenue fund fell 9.1 percent below the official estimate in March....

    April 16, 2014

  • University of Tulsa researchers find new species

    TULSA — A salamander first discovered by a University of Tulsa doctoral student in 2011 is being hailed as a new species in an international journal for animal taxonomy....

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma House passes state trooper pay raise bill

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could get their first pay raise in seven years under a plan given final legislative approval Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether money will be available in the overall state budget to ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Barresi decries plan to eliminate Okla. tests

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma State Superintendent Janet Barresi is raising concern about a bill before the Legislature that would eliminate state testing in social studies and geography....

    April 16, 2014

  • State-mandated minimum wage draws ire across state

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Organizers seeking a higher minimum wage in Oklahoma are upset with Gov. Mary Fallin’s decision to sign a bill that prohibits cities in the state from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma’s 8-month streak without tornado falls

    TULSA — After Oklahoma’s eight-month streak without a tornado was snapped this weekend by a pair of suspected twisters, the state’s wild weather jag continued into Monday, with blowing snow from the Panhandle to Tulsa and freezing ...

    April 15, 2014

  • 4 now charged in college player’s death

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A fourth person was charged Monday in the death of an Australian baseball player who was fatally shot as he jogged in a southern Oklahoma neighborhood last summer....

    April 15, 2014

  • Fallin signs minimum wage increase ban

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities across Oklahoma are now prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin....

    April 15, 2014

Video
Facebook