… and will end up with the Supremes
Roger Pilon at CATO: ObamaCare Goes Down
POLITICO Arena asks a second question today:
How badly does today’s ruling hurt the Obama administration’s health reform efforts?
In finding Obamacare unconstitutional, Judge Roger Vinson hit a home run today for the Constitution. From the start, he made it clear that this case, brought by 26 states, two private citizens, and the National Federation of Independent Business, “is not really about our health care system at all. It is principally about our federalist system, and it raises very important issues regarding the Constitutional role of the federal government.”
The core of the opinion, as many of us have long argued, is whether Congress, under its power to regulate interstate commerce, can regulate “inactivity” by requiring individuals to buy health insurance or be fined. It cannot, Vinson ruled, citing a long line of opinions, legal and political, starting with James Madison, the principal author of the Constitution.
Moreover, because Obamacare contains no severability clause, the entire act must fall. Finally, because this is a declaratory judgment, further implementation of the act is enjoined, so a separate injunction is not needed. It’s a new day.
The WSJ editorial looks at the decision as The Constitutional Moment
Judge Vinson introduces ObamaCare to Madison and Marshall.
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.”
Orrin Kerr looks at The Weak Link in Judge Vinson’s Opinion Striking Down the Mandate, namely the issue of binding precedent.
This puppy’s headed to the Supremes, for sure.