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McCollum derides "commandeering" health law

In a non-campaign press conference today, Bill McCollum announced that he has filed a brief in the lawsuit against the new federal government health care law. Acting in his official capacity as attorney general, McCollum made it clear that he thinks the new law is "manipulation, commandeering and coercion." He added that the lawsuit will be the "most significant case about state's rights ... in my lifetime."

The announcement comes nearly two weeks before the GOP primary for governor where McCollum faces Rick Scott in a race that is getting uglier by the day.

Besides any campaign implications, the brief is interesting itself. In its motion to dismiss, the feds argue that the individual mandate is a tax, not a penalty, which makes the law constitutional. McCollum pointed out that Congress never says the provision is a tax in the legislation, and that even if it were a tax, he believes it would be an unconstitutional one.

The feds will file another response brief in a couple weeks, and McCollum said he hopes to have a final ruling by the end of the year.