OTR Interviews

Florida's Attorney General Fighting Government Stall Tactics in Multi-State Health Care Battle

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 24, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is leading the charge for the 26 states fighting the president's national health care law. The states won big time in the Florida federal court. The judge said the entire health care law is unconstitutional. Now the Justice Department is claiming it does not understand the judge's decision. Attorney General Bondi doesn't buy it. Florida's attorney general, Pam Bondi, joins us.

I've looked at the pleadings. What is it the Justice Department doesn't understand that they filed this motion to clarify with the federal judge? What don't they get about his order?

PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Greta, that's a great question. To us it is clear. It is unambiguous. The judge said this is tantamount to an injunction. And he expects them to follow the law. So, this is basically a veiled attempt at a stay. We believe it is a stall tactic. The federal government needs to file an appeal.

Greta, we urge the president, we urge the White House to expedite this. That's what has happened in the Virginia case and the Michigan case. These cases are being expedited through the appellate courts. They have until the end of March to file their notice of appeal.

Now, they waited -- these are smart lawyers, yet they waited two and a half to weeks to file a motion to clarify? A little unorthodox. Instead of simply filing the motion to appeal when they even say in their motion to clarify, that they plan on appealing the case.

VAN SUSTEREN: This is Pam, the biggest, fattest lie ever. In this case, this whole sort of stall thing, I agree. I don't know what the merits of the case was, which way the Supreme Court will go. It is so obscene the justice department says, the president says the Supreme Court will decide this. The state Attorneys General says the Supreme Court will decide it. And there say rule that provides for the Supreme Court to bypass all the appeals.

Yet, the Justice Department and the president don't want the Supreme Court to consider this now which would immensely alleviate a lot of problems. Why don't you tell the Supreme Court, you know, yourself.

BONDI: I lost you for a minute there. I'm sorry. What they are saying basically in their motion to clarify is the sky is falling. They don't know what to do. This is urgent, the most important thing going on. We won. Now the ball is in their court to appeal.

And they need to appeal. We've spoken with them, we've asked them to expedite it. There's no reason at all to expedite it -- not to expedite it. We need to who have to the 11th circuit as soon as possible and we will clearly be in the Supreme Court. Hopefully, we will be there at the same time as Virginia, which makes a lot of sense, because we have similar cases. That's what needs to happen.

The American people are frustrated. They are hearing the disparaging comments the federal government is making about the judge's order. And we share their frustration. We are doing everything in our power to expedite this case. And get to the Supreme Court as soon as possible. And if this is just as important to the American people as the federal government says it is, they should be right there with us and agree to expedite this appeal.

VAN SUSTEREN: I should explain to the viewers there is an awkward delay between Tallahassee and here. It might seem odd in our question and answering.

When you go to the Justice Department and say will you join us for a quick -- not a quick, but a fast leap to the Supreme Court. What does the Justice Department say is the reason for not wanting it done now by the Supreme Court?

BONDI: They haven't yet. They said they would get back to us. Again, they waited two and a half weeks to file this motion to clarify. They say in their motion to clarify that they plan on appealing. Just file a notice of appeal. Yet, they have until the end of March to do that. We feel they are dragging their feet. If this is truly in the best interest of the American people they need expedite it. They need to join in we want and get it to the Supreme Court. We are urging President Obama to do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: You say you feel they are dragging their feet. I can say affirmatively that everybody is being gamed on both sides of the dispute by not taking it right away. Pam, thanks for joining us.