Last week, the group of attorneys general led by Florida's AG Bill McCollum amended their complaint against the federal government to add two individuals and the NFIB lobbying group as plaintiffs.
The move in the political lawsuit may be intended to improve the plaintiffs' standing. But in a different Michigan case, the Justice Department strongly argued that since the rules and tax penalties about insurance coverage do not take effect until 2014, the states can't claim any sort of harm yet. The development are interesting for at least two reasons as they pertain to Peter Kinder's promised lawsuit.
First: Two nobodies and a lobbying group were invited to join the suit, but Kinder couldn't attach his name to the complaint. (Though to be fair, neither could Orly Taitz.)
Kinder promised at a hastily-arranged press conference on March 23 that he would be joining McCollum's suit. At the time, there was no reason to believe that Kinder had contacted the Florida Attorney General's office before making his announcement. Indeed, the only evidence we have of communication between Kinder's office and the Florida AG's office came after the press conference, and Kinder's office refused to clarify whether they'd done any research or outreach before speaking with the press.
Two weeks later, Kinder announced he would be filing his own suit instead. In his words, the legal challenge would be brought "through my status as a constitutional officer of state government and my statutory responsibility to advocate for Missouri's seniors."
Second: The far more coordinated and competent (though still misguided) bunch behind McCollum's suit have already changed their legal strategy. And Kinder, for his part, has been flying by the seat of his pants in this whole affair.
- He declared that he'd be joining the McCollum challenge
- Then said he'd be filing his own suit by April 30
- And now says it may be June or July before he's ready to make his complaint public
He also promised on May 3 that his attorney, Thor Hearne, would be providing "more updates on the progress of our lawsuit" before May 7; those updates never came.
If the larger and better financed team in Florida** is having trouble explaining why they have standing to sue and void the health care reform law, it stands to reason that Kinder is having an even harder time.
Maybe these inherent problems in Kinder's case explain his recent silence about the progress of his suit?
**I'm giving Kinder the benefit of the doubt and just assuming that he has fewer lawyers and less cash to work with. As you know, it's entirely possible that Kinder could have deposited a billion dollar check in his secretive LLC and told no one.