Florida Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional
Florida District Court Judge Roger Vinson has just handed down his decision on whether the health care reform law is constitutional.
Many Conservatives had hoped or predicted that the judge would rule against President Obama’s health care reform law. Judge Vinson did not disappoint them. Vinson ruled that the legislation is unconstitutional.
In the decision, Vinson writes:
… I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.
Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.
Vinson’s ruling may be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, is already slated in May to hear challenges to two conflicting federal court rulings in that state, one of which upheld the legislation while the other invalidated part of it.
Governors and attorneys general from 26 states have brought the suit. Virginia ruled the “individual mandate” provision of the law (the requirement that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty) an “unbridled exercise of federal police powers.” Two other district judges have rejected challenges to this part—the “individual mandate”—provision of the health care law.
Most real legal experts expect the real battle over health care reform to be eventually and decisively heard at the U.S. Supreme Court.
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