The ruling states that ObamaCare’s individual mandate “unconstitutional” and “not severable,” declaring the entire act “void.”
Update: Here’s the story.
(Forbes) — In a ruling out of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola Justice Roger Vinson has declared that the primary mechanism whereby the health reform achieves universal insurance coverage–the individual mandate–is unconstitutional.
With this ruling, and a similar one in December by Judge Henry Hudson in Virgina, it’s likely that the U.S. Surpreme Court will be the final arbiter of whether ObamaCare stands. (Two other lawsuits — one in Michigan and one in Virginia — were thrown out by other federal district judges last year who disagreed with the constitutional challenge.)
Henry Hudson, the Virginia judge who ruled in favor of that state’s legal challenge, focused on whether Congress has the ability, via the Commerce Clause, to force uninsured people to buy insurance. He concluded that it does not. Vinson, on the other hand, signaled in an earlier ruling that he was interested in whether the federal fine for not buying insurance is a tax or a penalty. If it’s a penalty, the legislation relies on a broad Commerce Clause interpretation. If it’s a tax, it’s much more difficult to make a constitutional claim against it.
In today’s ruling he writes: “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications.”
Copy of the ruling:
Update II: I just heard Shep Smith on Fox News say a “lot of people love” ObamaCare. What planet does this guy live on?
Update III: Again, the entire law must be voided!
(TPM) — A federal district court judge in Florida ruled today that a key provision in the new health care law is unconstitutional, and that the entire law must be voided.
Roger Vinson, a Ronald Reagan appointee, agreed with the 26 state-government plaintiffs that Congress exceeded its authority by passing a law penalizing individuals who do not have health insurance.
“I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate,” Vinson writes. “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”