Monday, January 31, 2011

Florida judge rules individual mandate unconstitutional

U.S. District Court Justice, Roger Vinson, ruled today that the individual mandate of President Obama’s health reform legislation is unconstitutional.

The question raised by the lawsuit against the individual mandate is whether or not buying insurance constitutes interstate commerce. Vinson stated in his ruling that “it would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause.” In other words, the Commerce Clause has not been used in the past to force someone to do something they weren’t already doing, such as purchasing health insurance.

If his ruling stands it would void the entire health reform bill passed last year.

According to Vinson, “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.”

Reports suggest the case is likely to go to the U.S. Supreme Court; however, it is believed to be unlikely that the case would move quickly enough to be heard this year.

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