Governors, District Attorneys in Arizona and Tennessee Tangle Over Suits To Overturn Health Care Law


Posted on 8th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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 There are now two more cases, drawn along party lines, of state governors locking horns with their attorney generals over lawsuits challenging President Obama’s health care reform.

Arizona, like 15 other states, said Tuesday that it is filing suit challenging the constitutionality of the nation’s new health care law, despite the objections of the state’s Attorney General. In Tennessee, the state Attorney General has also balked at filing such a challenge.

Rather conveniently, Arizona’s Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill April 1 that allows her to get around Attorney General Terry Goddard, a Democrat, and file the anti-health care reform lawsuit.

In Arizona, Republicans claim that the new health care law violates the Constitution because it mandates that people buy private health insurance. Goddard argues that the suit is frivolous and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

So now Brewer’s general counsel, Joseph Kanefield, will handle the suit for the governor and the state.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper claims that his state Legislature’s bid to try to throw out the federal health care legislation is most likely unconstitutional, so he can’t enforce its efforts.

 Cooper on Tuesday offered his legal opinion that if the Legislature wants to take on Obama’s new health care law, it will have to get its own lawyer to do it.

 The attorney general contends that U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to pre-empt state law.


Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Tarleton Football Player Dies of Traumatic Brain Injury From Practice


Posted on 4th April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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A Tarleton State University football died of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after falling and hitting his head during what the school called “routine” play during spring practice.

Perhaps the lesson here is that no play in football is “routine,” in that players, particularly 18-year-olds like Zachary Shaver, always risk fatal injury. The youth from Wichita Falls, Texas, died last Monday from a head injury he sustained Saturday.

Shaver, a redshirt freshman, became part of Tarleton’s team last fall as defensive lineman, according to press release posted on the Texas university’s Web site.

During spring practice in Stephenville, “The 6-2, 280-pound defensive tackle got tangled up with an offensive lineman on a play,” The Times Record News of Wichita Falls reported. “The two players fell over the back of a pile with the offensive lineman on top of Shaver, who hit his head on the turf and never recovered.”

Shaver was airlifted to a hospital, but never recovered. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner found Shaver’s death was accidental and was caused by TBI.

Officials at Tarleton offered glowing praise for Shaver in the press release on his death.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this young student-athlete,” said Tarleton athletics director Lonn Reisman. “This is a tragic loss for the Shaver family and my heart goes out to them. I am thankful for our athletic training staff, the emergency medical teams and the hospital staff for their professional response.”

When Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler was the defensive coordinator at Midwestern State, the Shaver family lived close to the Fowlers.

“Zach was a great young man, and I enjoyed watching him grow up over the years,” Fowler said. “This is a very difficult time for the Shaver family and the Texan football family. Zach was a great person and teammate, and he was a pleasure to coach. We ask that everyone pray for his friends and family to help them through this difficult situation.”

Even Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio offered a statement on Shaver.

“It is always difficult to lose one of our Tarleton family members, especially when they are so young,” Dottavio said. “Counselors will be on hand to respond to any needs. Lisette and I will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

The cause of the injury here is a puzzle. With all of the violent hits every football player endures in his career, this one would not stand out. The key is one never knows the internal forces at work or the weakness of that particular part of the brain subjected to the stress. Any claim that any given trauma isn’t sufficient to injure the brain is disproven by this one tragedy.

Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

Georgia Attorney General Faces Possible Impeachment For Refusing Go File Suit Over Health Care Reform


Posted on 1st April 2010 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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More on the politics of no. The Republicans continue to think that if they can continue to paint meaningful health care reform as some breed of anarchy, socialism and treason, that no one will bother to look as to how much better the country will be with fair rules governing health insurance. The old axim of never letting the facts get in the way of a good story, sure seems to apply to this one.

When I studied Constitutional law in 1977, the basic rule was that the Federal government had the power to regulate anything that involved interstate commerce. Well there might be some “commerce” that isn’t interstate, but it is clearly not health care, one of the biggest and most comprehensive industries in our society. If it is constitutional for the federal government to tax working people for retired people’s Medicare, it is legal to require everyone be insured.

Yet, if the Republicans believe there is some political advantage to calling the new Health Care law bad, so they keep doing it. The louder they say it, the more votes they believe they will get. Let us hope that by November, the majority of the country will see that all that they stand for is nothing.

In Georgia Republicans are calling for the impeachment of the state Attorney General, because he has refused to file suit over the constitutionality of President Obama’s health-care overhaul.

In the Georgia state Legislature 31 Republicans Tuesday signed a resolution seeking the impeachment of Democrat Thurbert Baker. Baker is also a candidate in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, where incumbent Republican Sonny Perdue can’t seek a third term under the law.

Fourteen states have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new health care reform, according to The New York Times. But Perdue has charged that this litigation is frivolous and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Perdue has indicated that to get around Baker, he will appoint a “special attorney general,” a lawyer or legal team to file suit on Georgia’s behalf.

To be approved, the impeachment resolution would need the support of the majority of the Republican controlled, 180-member Georgia House.

Then there would have to be a trial in the state Senate, and Baker could be found guilty if two-thirds of the 56 senators went against him. But it would be tough for Baker to lose that vote, because the Republicans control just 60 percent of the Senate seats.

Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.