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Perdue bypasses top lawman, taps special atty. gen. for health lawsuit

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced Tuesday that he is appointing Frank C. Jones as the pro bono special attorney general to direct Georgia’s participation in challenging the federal healthcare legislation recently passed by Congress.

Georgia is joining the lawsuit filed by 18 other states in federal court in Florida at no cost to the state.

“The importance of this legal challenge demands the very best representation possible and that is exactly what the state is receiving from Frank C. Jones,” said Perdue. “Frank is one of the best and most respected lawyers in the state. We are grateful he recognizes the importance of this challenge and is taking up the cause on behalf of Georgians.”

“I am honored by Gov. Perdue selecting me to lead Georgia’s team and I look forward to adding our state’s perspective to the others that have joined this challenge,” Jones said.

Jones is currently Of Counsel at Jones, Cork & Miller in Macon, a firm at which he practiced from 1950 to 1977. From 1977 to 2001, Jones was a partner at King & Spalding in Atlanta. His professional involvement includes past service as president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, president of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society, 22-year member of the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association, president of the State Bar of Georgia and pember of the American Law Institute. Jones also currently serves as trustee emeritus of Emory University and Trustee of Wesleyan College in Macon.

Governor Perdue also appointed the following Georgia attorneys as deputy special attorneys general: Mike Russ, retired partner at King & Spalding; Jason Alloy and Josh Belinfante of RobbinsLaw LLC; Pitts Carr of Carr & Palmer; John Parker and Keith Blackwell of Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP; and Mercer University law professor David Oedel.

These lawyers will also serve the state on a pro bono basis. Other Georgia attorneys have offered to assist with the challenge, and may participate as the case requires.

“We welcome Georgia to this lawsuit as we continue fighting to protect the constitutional rights of American citizens and the sovereignty of our states,” said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has organized the team of states challenging the bill. “On behalf of the residents in Florida and the states joining our efforts, we are committed to aggressively pursuing this lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary to prevent this unprecedented expansion of federal powers, impact upon state sovereignty and encroachment on our freedom.”

Other states involved in the lawsuit include Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, South Dakota, Indiana, North Dakota, Mississippi, Nevada, and Arizona. Virginia is pursuing its own litigation.

[The information in this story comes from a news release from the governor’s press office.]

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