Unlike Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, who also found ObamaCare to be unconstitutional, Judge Vinson addresses the Administration’s fallback argument that the Constitution’s Necessary and Proper Clause justifies the law even if the Commerce Clause doesn’t. He writes that this clause “is not an independent source of federal power” and “would vitiate the enumerated powers principle.” In other words, the clause can’t justify inherently unconstitutional actions.
Judge Vinson also went beyond the Virginia case in striking down the entire ObamaCare statute—paradoxically, an act of judicial modesty. Democrats intentionally left out a “severability” clause if one part of the bill was struck down, and the Administration repeatedly argued that the individual mandate was “essential” to the bill’s goals and mechanisms and compared it to “a finely crafted watch.” Judge Vinson writes that picking and choosing among thousands of sections would be “tantamount to rewriting a statute in an attempt to salvage it.”
Via Real Clear Politics.
The left is spinning in circles trying to denigrate this decision, but they appear to have been caught flat-footed by it. They are reduced to name calling and vague complaints. I have not seen any good arguments from the usual suspects about this. Over at Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr does see one potential weak link in judge Vinson’s decision. I’ll send interested readers over there to read the whole thing – it doesn’t lend itself to excerpting.
And yes, I am staying home today. Road conditions are horrible and the maniacs are lining the ditches of the interstate.