A Federal judge has declared the entire ObamaCare act void. Stressing that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and that the government had argued that the mandate was absolutely essential to the entire act, the judge followed the logic and declared the whole thing dead.
The plaintiffs in the Florida case characterized the insurance requirement as an unprecedented attempt to regulate inactivity because citizens would be assessed an income tax penalty for failing to purchase a product. Their lawyers argued that there effectively would be no limits on federal authority, and raised the specter of government-mandated gym memberships and broccoli consumption.
Justice Department lawyers, representing the Obama administration, asserted that a choice to not obtain health insurance is itself an active decision. Taken in the aggregate, they said, those decisions place a heavy economic burden on hospitals, governments and privately insured ratepayers that absorb the cost of uncompensated care for those without coverage.
In his decision, Judge Vinson wrote: “It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause.” If Congress has such power, he continued, “it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.”
The Volokh Conspiracy does not have any analysis up as yet, but they do have a succinct breakdown on Judge Vinson’s ruling as well as a link to the entire decision.
Vinson’s ruling is peppered with a lot of precedents and seems very well reasoned, so it will be interesting to see how it fairs in the appellate courts. Regular readers know exactly how I feel about the entire monstrous construct of ObamaCare, so it should be no surprise that I applaud the ruling.
Times link via Memeorandum