March 31, 2010
• Posted in

Oregon will rebut legal arguments offered by other attorneys general.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General John Kroger announced today that the State of Oregon intends to take legal action in court to defend the constitutionality of the new national health care reform bill. Oregon will seek to participate in ongoing litigation in order to argue that the new legislation does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

“Oregon has been a leader in expanding access to health care while containing costs and the bill passed by Congress and signed by the President is essential for states like Oregon to advance this goal,” said Governor Ted Kulongoski. “I’m proud to have Oregon stand up in court and defend this legislation, which will extend healthcare to thousands of Oregonians and millions of uninsured Americans.”

“The health care reform cases present some of the most important Constitutional issues facing this generation,” Attorney General Kroger said. “Opponents of the bill seek to turn back the Constitutional clock 100 years, returning to a time when the United States Supreme Court routinely struck down legislation designed to protect the health, safety and well-being of the American people. As an Attorney General and law professor, I think it is critical that the courts hear not just from the opponents of the health care legislation, but from those states that believe it is constitutional.”

Governor Kulongoski noted that overturning the law would undermine Oregon’s health care reform efforts to provide greater access to care, lower cost and improved quality under the Oregon Health Authority, which the legislature and governor enacted in 2009.

Attorney General Kroger is the first attorney general to announce he will take legal steps, including the filing of briefs, to support the new health care reform law. Oregon is inviting attorneys general in other states to work together to develop a successful legal strategy.

Governor Kulongoski is a former Oregon Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General. Attorney General Kroger, a former federal criminal prosecutor, is the only sitting Attorney General to have received the nominations of both the Democratic and Republican Parties when he ran for office. Prior to becoming Attorney General, Kroger was a law professor.


Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |

Governor’s Office Contact: Anna Richter Taylor: (503) 378-6169 |