Monday, January 31, 2011
Roger Vinson, A U.S. District Judge in Florida, has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional, not part of it either--the whole thing. Many have challenged its constitutionality from the beginning. Governor Palin, for one, has often referred to it as "the mother of all mandates." Once again, this is America, and in America people cannot be forced to purchase anything. I reported here that U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond, Virginia ruled that President Obama's "health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce." It did not address other provisions of the bill. Today's ruling, however, renders the entire bill unconstitutional.
The Conclusion (emphasis added):
The existing problems in our national health care system are recognized by everyone in this case. There is widespread sentiment for positive improvements that will reduce costs, improve the quality of care, and expand availability in a way that the nation can afford. This is obviously a very difficult task. Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution. Again, this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the Constitutional role of the federal government.
For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities 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.30 Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.
In closing, I will simply observe, once again, that 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.
Read more here.
This is not over. It will be challenged and will probably go all the way to the Supreme Court. It's good to know, however, that the Constitution still matters in this country. Had the Obama administration listened to the American people, and to Governor Palin who called it early--rather than choosing to ram health care down our throats in this manner--things could have been vastly different.