Editor’s Note – Naturally, this is just an opening salvo in a battle that will ultimately end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, nonetheless, lovers of freedom have cause to celebrate. For now.
How ironic that Virginia is the first court hearing arguments on the new healthcare law to interpret the Constitution as intended by the Founding Fathers.
The downside, this ruling only pertains to the individual mandate, while all other provisions of the law are permitted to move forward. As is the extreme damage that is already being felt in the healthcare industry by it’s implementation.
Key Provision of Health Care Law Unconstitutional, Federal Judge Rules
By Christopher Weber
In a major blow to the White House, a federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the new national health care reform law is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson said that forcing individuals to purchase health insurance was in violation of the Constitution’s “commerce clause,” The Washington Post reported.
The courts cannot enforce the law’s requirement that Americans be fined if they don’t have health insurance by 2014, the judge said in a 42-page opinion.
“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market,” Hudson wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I [of the Constitution.]”
While Hudson ruled the so-called “individual mandate” unconstitutional, he did say that other broad portions of the law are legal and can go forward. Because the mandate doesn’t go into effect for four years, the judge said he saw no reason to halt implementation of the law as a whole.
The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in Virginia by state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. He argued on the AG’s website that “buying health insurance can be said to be an act of commerce. However, if someone doesn’t buy insurance, they are by definition not engaging in commerce. This legislation greatly oversteps the Commerce Clause.”
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