Health Care Reform Lawsuit On Behalf of the People

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 19, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: You've heard about states suing the federal government over health care, but what if you want to sue government yourself? Turns out a lawyer from Tennessee wants to represent you. Joining us live is Van Irion, Republican congressional candidate in Tennessee.

Good evening, sir. And you have filed -- have you actually filed a lawsuit on behalf of people?

VAN IRION, R - TENN., CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Hi, Greta. Yes, we have. About a week-and-a-half ago, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of one individual here in Tennessee, and we invited all Tennesseeans to join the lawsuit. Well, within a few days, we were inundated with requests from all over the country if -- from people wanting to join the lawsuit. So we decided that we would let anybody in the United States, any company or citizen, join. And we now have 10,764, I think, as of a few minutes ago.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now, I don't want to get into the weeds, but people are going to think it's a, quote, "class-action" because of the number of people. This has not been certified as a class. And at this point, you have one person in court with about 10,000-plus that want to join, is that fair?

IRION: That's correct, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Now, what is the cause of action? Is it like the state attorneys generals, that it's about the mandate and whether or not the federal government has the authority to essentially order people to have insurance?

IRION: No, actually, our lawsuit completely different in that it's challenging "Obamacare" in its entirety. Our primary argument is that nothing in the Constitution allows Congress the authority to regulate health care, period, and it's that simple.

Now, we understand that there's precedent from about 80 years ago from the Supreme Court that arguably -- the commerce clause precedent that arguably grants Congress some authority to regulate in this area. And our argument is that that precedent needs to be changed, and this is the epitome of where you end up with that precedent. The commerce clause essentially granted -- essentially destroyed the entire purpose of the Constitution, which was to grant only very limited authority to Congress.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, just so that I'm understanding that, you say that the Congress doesn't -- that the Constitution doesn't provide specific authority to regulate health care. That is, indeed, true. The Constitution is not, in fact, specific about many things. It does have a commerce clause in it which empowers the federal government to regulate or to affect commerce. The question here is whether or not it has it in this particular instance, isn't that correct?

IRION: Well, actually, I would say that the commerce clause -- the interpretation of the commerce clause that came out of the FDR-packed Supreme Court destroyed the entire purpose of the Constitution, and that violates the primary cannon of legal interpretation, which is, if you take one phrase from a document and interpret it in such a way that it destroys the entire purpose of the document, that interpretation must be wrong. That's an argument that a lot of people have tried to make, and we're going to make it now because "Obamacare" is just the latest example of the Congress doing things that it's not supposed to do.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. And I guess that now we're getting a little deeper into the weeds into what will be your argument when you actually go to court, all right?

IRION: Sure.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, you're running -- you're running for office. You want to be the Republican congressman from your district. Is this case in any way -- I mean, are you finding that people are interested in your campaign more or -- because of the -- because of the case? Has this attracted more support for you? Is your community interested in it?

IRION: Absolutely. The reason we filed this case was because the Tennessee state attorney general announced that he would not join the other states that were representing their citizens in challenging the constitutionality of "Obamacare." I was appalled by that. In fact, I became an attorney in large part because I wanted to protect the Constitution within the system. And we decided that -- because we were being approached by people who wanted to file suit individually, we decided to do that. This is the people's suit. We're giving everybody in America an opportunity to join, whether their state attorney generals agree with the unconstitutionality of national health care or not.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, it's going to be interesting for me to watch your Web site to see where your numbers go. What was your number when you got on the air, 10,000-what?

IRION: It was 10,764, I think, was about a half an hour before we went on the air. It's gone up about 1,000 plaintiffs a day.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, that's a lot of client management, so good luck with the client management aspect. Van, thank you very much for joining us.

IRION: Thank you.

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