Will Wisconsin Join Other States in Health Care Lawsuit?

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," April 7, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Nineteen states and counting! So far, 19 states are suing the federal government over health care. Wisconsin attorney general J.B. Van Hollen wants to be number 20. He wants to join that group, but so far, he has been blocked. Well, there's news tonight.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen joins us live again. Sir, so I understand that this is, at least in your mind, moving forward a little bit in terms of you want to sue, your Democratic governor says no, and you need authority from the state legislature in order to go forward, or from the governor. So what are you going to do?

J.B. VAN HOLLEN, R, WISCONSIN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, so far, we've got resolutions been submitted by one state legislator and one state senator that have been signed onto by a number of other legislators, asking to poll (ph) the resolutions to the floor so that we can actually have a vote in Wisconsin in one or both bodies of the legislature. If we can get one of those resolutions to the floor of one of the bodies and get an up- or-down vote, I'll be satisfied. If our elected representatives, who under law can give me authority to bring the suit, say, We're not going to do it, and they're willing to stand up one at a time and put their name on this document saying yes or no, by all means, I'll abide by that. That's what my job is.

But I have a big problem with leadership blocking this from coming to the floor for a vote. So we're hoping to poll this resolution to the floor and get an up-or-down vote one way or the other. Of course, I hope it'll be an up vote.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, I've done a little research, and the -- your legislature is still in session, April 13th to 22nd, that the -- in the state senate, a resolution has already been introduced. There are 33 members of the state Senate, but it is dominated by the Democratic Party, not your party. And it's 18 to 15, and you need two -- two Democratic senators to go your way. Have any Democratic senators in the Wisconsin Senate pulled you aside and said, We're going with you?

VAN HOLLEN: You know, they haven't, and I haven't had a chance to talk to them. I'm trying to let the senators and the state representatives do their jobs. We've reached out to the sponsors of these two resolutions just today to see what the status is. And I believe that most of the Republicans have signed on, and I don't know that they've reached out to the Democrats yet.

I've told them very clearly that I'm willing to explain the legal circumstances to any of their members, if they would like us to do so, because when these people vote, I want them to do so intelligently. I don't want them to say, We shouldn't sue because it's anti-health care. That's not what the issue is, Greta. It's what the Democrats are trying to say about this. They're trying to make us look bad. They're trying to ostracize the Republicans and make us look like villains. But the bottom line is, this is about the rule of law. And I think if we have a chance to explain this to some of these Democrats, we can get their votes.

VAN SUSTEREN: There is one -- someone -- someone -- some state senator has introduced a resolution to change the state constitution to prohibit requiring a person to obtain health insurance, a little bit like the statute that they're suing under in the state of Virginia. I take it that that's -- if that is even remotely possible, that that's a much longer process, is that right?

VAN HOLLEN: Well, I don't know that -- well, absolutely. Amending the constitution in Wisconsin is a longer process. And I also don't think that that specific legislative proposal has any more viability than actually polling this litigation issue to the floor and having a vote on it. Nor do I believe that legislation necessarily is going to give us any more authority to proceed in a lawsuit, if we wanted to.

What we really need is to be able to let the courts determine whether this is a constitutional law or not, something that it appears as though a number of governors and others are actually scared of.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, have you spoken at all since the last time you were on our show -- have you had any communication or even your staff with that of Governor Doyle, anything at all? Have you heard any word about this?

VAN HOLLEN: We haven't. Matter of fact, Greta, I'm still waiting for to you to forward me that letter because as of last notice, I still haven't gotten it.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you haven't heard anything from him at all. Nothing.

VAN HOLLEN: We haven't. It's my understanding -- it's my understanding that he had submitted a letter, and I did obviously go through the press channels to get a copy of that. There was nothing about the legal basis in that whatsoever. So there was really nothing counteracting our request, just saying that, No, it's not going to be granted. And then the typical -- the typical verbiage talking about how we're being anti-health care such as you just heard from your last guest.

It's nothing of the sort. The bottom line is, is this is about the rule of law. Congress does have the authority to pass health care reform legislation. But they should follow the law when they do it, like the rest of us have to follow the law.

VAN SUSTEREN: Attorney General, thank you. And as I always say, from the great state of Wisconsin, thank you very much for joining us.

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