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VIA: AJC.com

Attorney General Thurbert Baker told Gov. Sonny Perdue on Wednesday he will not file a federal lawsuit to block federal health care reform legislation signed into law this week.

Baker, a Democrat seeking his party’s nomination for governor, told the Republican Perdue that he was “unaware of any constitutional infirmities and do not think it would be prudent, legally or fiscally, to pursue such litigation. I must therefore respectfully decline your request.”

Perdue had asked Baker to join more than a dozen other attorneys general from around the country — all of whom are Republicans — to sue to block the federal legislation, which Perdue said will devastate the state budget due to increased Medicaid costs.

“I do not believe that Georgia has a viable legal claim against the United States,” Baker wrote.

His decision, he said, was based in part on the great expense a law suit would incur at a time of cratering state revenues.

“I cannot justify a decision to initiate expensive and time-consuming litigation that I believe has no legal merit,” Baker wrote. “In short, this litigation is likely to fail and will consume significant amounts of taxpayers’ hard-earned money in the process.”

Legal scholars around the country have largely opined that the lawsuits by the states face steep odds as the courts have largely protected Congress’ ability to act in this manner.

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