Judge denies effort to force N. Dakota attorney general to withdraw from Obamacare suit

FILE PHOTO: A sign on an insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, San Diego, California, U.S., October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

BISMARCK, N.D. — A judge has denied an effort led by North Dakota Democrats and others to force Republican Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem to withdraw from a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The Bismarck Tribune reports South Central District Judge James Hill denied the request Friday.

North Dakota in June joined a coalition of 20 GOP-led states that argue that the Affordable Care Act is no longer constitutional after the Republican-backed tax overhaul eliminated fines for not having health coverage.

Democrats say if the lawsuit is successful, it would strip protections for thousands of North Dakotans with pre-existing conditions.

Stenehjem says the lawsuit will move forward even if the state withdraws.