Newly announced Democratic candidate for Missouri Attorney General Rich Finneran came out swinging against the incumbent two days after he announced his campaign. He attacked Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt for his participation in a lawsuit that would eliminate insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
“Eric Schmitt is now saying that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. I teach constitutional law, and I can tell you he’s dead wrong,” said Finneran, who teaches at Washington University School of Law, on Thursday, October 24.
“The Supreme Court has already upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, not once, but twice. This lawsuit is a waste of time and taxpayer money.”
Schmitt is using the resources of the Attorney General’s Office to participate in the Texas-based lawsuit, which seeks to overturn guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The lawsuit is being heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
On October 23, Schmitt defended his office’s participation by claiming that he has “a duty to follow the law” as the state’s chief law enforcement officer.
“Eric Schmitt isn’t following the law,” Finneran said. “He’s seeking to overturn it. He still hasn’t answered the fundamental question that we’re asking in this campaign: how does this lawsuit help the people of Missouri? There’s a reason he can’t give a good answer: there isn’t one.”
Finneran challenged Schmitt’s decision to keep Missouri in the lawsuit in a video released announcing his candidacy on October 22. St. Louis attorney Elad Gross has been campaigning for the Democratic nomination since November.
A former federal prosecutor and partner with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in downtown St. Louis, Finneran transitioned to a role as Of Counsel with the firm to run for office.
Schmitt was not elected attorney general, but as state treasurer and appointed to the position by Governor Mike Parson after Josh Hawley left it to assume his newly elected post as U.S. senator.