Wash. Dems file brief to defend Obama health law

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A group of Democratic lawmakers in Washington state are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

About 30 members of the Legislature filed a legal brief Thursday, joining other lawmakers from around the country. They criticized Republican attorney general Rob McKenna for challenging the law in court.

McKenna believes the health care law is unconstitutional because of a requirement that individuals without health insurance must purchase private insurance or face a fine. Supreme Court justices will hear arguments on the case in late March, with an outcome expected in late June.

The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that McKenna has the authority to lead the state into a challenge against the health law. Gov. Chris Gregoire is separately telling the courts that the health law is beneficial.