McKenna seeks dismissal of health care lawsuit

SEATTLE — A King County judge said Friday she will decide next week whether to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of women who claim Attorney General Rob McKenna’s participation in seeking to overturn the new federal health care law threatens access to comprehensive coverage for women.

King County Superior Court Judge Sharon Armstrong’s decision could land at the same time as the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Attorney Knoll Lowney said that some aspect of his lawsuit would be rendered moot if the Supreme Court decision comes out next week. But he argued that other parts should continue to be discussed, such as a state attorney general who yields decision-making to another state’s attorney general in lawsuits that affect state residents.

Marnie Hart, the state solicitor general, said the whole lawsuit would be moot.

The politically charged lawsuit was filed this May in King County Superior Court on behalf of 96 women.

Lowney and his backer have characterized their lawsuit as not political. They say that McKenna violated his ethical duties by joining the multi-state lawsuit challenging the federal health care law.

McKenna, a Republican candidate for governor, joined other GOP attorneys general in the federal health care lawsuit more than a year ago. He objected to a provision that required people to buy private health insurance or face a fine. But their challenge could cause the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal the whole law.

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