Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A judicial drubbing for Obamacare | Washington Examiner


In a rigorously reasoned decision that seemed to delight in turning the government's arguments on their head, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson on Monday struck down as unconstitutional President Obama's signature legislative achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. In the suit brought by 26 states, Vinson found that "Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority" by including the individual mandate and held the entire act unconstitutional "because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable" from the rest of the law. Vinson, who was appointed by President Reagan to the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Florida in Pensacola, even tweaked Obama, pointing out in a concluding footnote that the president whose name is forever linked to the measure had backed a health care reform bill without an individual mandate when he was in the Senate. Vinson quoted then-Senator Obama as saying in 2008 that "if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house."

Vinson said the government even conceded that its interpretation of the Commerce Clause to support the individual mandate "breaks new legal ground" and is "unprecedented." He concluded, "If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party ... it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted. It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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