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Associated Press, Published November 22 2010

North Dakota AG says health care legal challenges justified

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem says state-supported lawsuits against new federal health care law haven't stopped it from taking effect.

North Dakota is one of a group of states taking part in a federal lawsuit in Florida against the law. It challenges a provision that requires people to buy health insurance.

Fargo Democratic state Sen. Tim Mathern is one of a group of lawmakers who are joining a court brief supporting the new law.

Mathern says there are federal and state partnerships on a number of initiatives, and the health care law is the latest example. He calls the lawsuit a political ploy by Republican attorneys general.

Stenehjem says federal judges have already agreed that the states' arguments are strong enough to merit a full hearing.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.