Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says he needs more time to evaluate a new federal health care law before deciding whether to challenge it in court.
Gov. Haley Barbour had given Hood until noon Thursday to say whether the attorney general's office would file a lawsuit.
Republican Barbour said he would file one himself if Democrat Hood chooses not to act.
Barbour says the law might be unconstitutional because it requires people to buy health insurance.
Hood says attorneys in his office are evaluating the law and will consult constitutional scholars. He says the governor is not authorized to file suit while the attorney general's office completes its review.
Barbour's office had no immediate response.