Boom! Flap, flap, flap … ObamaCare has a flat (update)
I’ve been waiting on this one and today a US District Judge in Virginia issued his ruling about ObamaCare:
A federal judge in Virginia has declared the Obama administration’s health care reform law unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson is the first judge to rule against the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law’s requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.
He argues the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to impose the requirement.
I’m not sure the AP description is entirely accurate. I believe he ruled only the individual mandate was unconstitutional. However, I don’t believe he ruled the entire law unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond, Virginia, said today that the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce. While severing the coverage mandate, which was to become effective in 2014, Hudson didn’t address other provisions such as expanding Medicaid.
Hudson, appointed by President George W. Bush found the minimum essential coverage provision of the act “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”
Regardless, if the ruling stands, it cripples ObamaCare. The mandate is one of the principle ways that the administration and Democrats “justified” the cost of the law. And by the way:
Constitutional scholars said unless Congress changes the law, its fate on appeal will probably hinge on the views of the U.S. Supreme Court’s more conservative members.
Hello lame duck Congress? That’s not going to happen in the 111th and it certainly won’t happen 112th.
Oh, this is going to be fun to watch. More to come as it continues breaking.
UPDATE: Pertaining to the “severability” argument put forward in the comment section, Judge Hudson said specifically when talking about the individual mandate:
"The Court will sever only Section 1501 [the individual mandate] and directly-dependent provisions which make specific reference to 1501.