U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's ruling will be the biggest judicial decision to come down the pike since groups began filing lawsuits against the bill passed by Congress last March. Twenty-six states are parties to the suit, which claims a mandate to insist Americans purchase a product is unconstitutional.
In October, Vinson dismissed four of the six counts in the suit led by then-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. But he allowed two counts, including one challenging the law's controversial requirement that Americans buy health insurance, to proceed. Arguments were heard in December.
In his earlier ruling, Vinson said that a government report called the requirement to buy insurance legally unprecedented and worth examining in court.
Most voters continue to favor repeal of the national health care law, but now that the Republican-run House has voted to repeal and sent it on to the Democratic-controlled Senate for action, confidence that the law ultimately will be repealed has fallen to its lowest level in four months.A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 58% of Likely Voters at least somewhat favor repeal of the health care law, including 47% who Strongly Favor repeal. Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose repeal, with 29% who are Strongly Opposed.
Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."
It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.
“This ruling confirms what Americans have been saying for months: The health spending bill is a massive overreach and Democrats ‘exceeded the bounds’ of Congressional authority under the Constitution in passing the law with the individual mandate. Rather than penalizing Americans if they don’t buy a particular product that Washington decides is best, we should repeal this health spending bill and replace it with commonsense reforms that will actually lower costs, prevent unsustainable entitlement promises and make it easier for employers to start hiring again.”
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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