In the lawsuit filed by attornies general in 26 states against the Department of Health and Human Services, ObamaCare today has been ruled unconstitutional, in its entirety, by Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida. See the ruling in its entirety here.
From Justice Vinson’s 78-page ruling:
“I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit.”
“Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate.”
“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”
“My conclusion in this case is based on an application of the commerce clause law as it exists pursuant to the Supreme Court’s current interpretation and definition. Only the Supreme Court (or a Constitutional amendment) can expand that.”
Back to Founding Principles
Justice Vinson meticulously combs through and quotes the Federalist Papers throughout his ruling. He cites Federalist 45, which I blogged about here, where James Madison clearly states that Federal powers are “few and defined:”
“In establishing our government, the Founders endeavored to resolve Madison’s identified “great difficulty” by creating a system of dual sovereignty under which the powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
“…in 1791, the Tenth Amendment reaffirmed that relationship: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited to it by the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Kudos to Justice Vinson for actually digging into the Founders’ intents in his ruling.
But One Major Concern
I only have one very serious concern with the ruling. Justice Vinson undermines the free market and keeps the door open to continued regulation when he states this:
“That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequties 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.”
Now, where does that anti-free-market philosophy come from?
Regardless, today’s ruling is a huge reason for celebration as the battle to repeal ObamaCare marches on. This battle’s not over, there’s more to come…