VA Judge: ObamaCare Individual mandate unconstitutional

Read the Ruling Here

A federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s health reform law Monday, moving reform’s most significant challenge one step closer to its likely destination: the Supreme Court.

In a highly-anticipated suit brought by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional as it “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”

Hudson stopped short of blocking the law’s implementation until a higher court acts, but said he expects the administration to honor his ruling.

“The final word will undoubtedly reside with a higher court,” Hudson wrote in his ruling. “In this Court’s view, the award of declaratory judgment is sufficient to stay the hand of the executive branch pending appellate review.”

The Virginia ruling is arguably the most prominent in an onslaught of legal challenges that immediately followed the law’s passage in March. Another key case in Florida, where 20 states are challenging the law, will hear oral arguments on Thursday.

Of the 15 cases that judges have opined on so far, the Virginia suit is the first to strike down any part of the health reform law.

The White House does not believe the decision will have any impact on the ongoing implementation of the health care law. Officials downplayed the suggestion that rulings against the law would create uncertainty in the middle of its implementation, largely because some of the key provisions don’t take effect until 2014. The White House anticipates all challenges to the law will have worked their way through the system by then.

The Virginia ruling has been a longtime in the making. The state was the first to pass a law barring the mandated purchase of health insurance, setting the stage for Cuccinelli’s lawsuit. Cuccinelli’s suit, like most of the health reform challenges, argues that the individual mandate – which means that everyone must buy health insurance — is an unconstitutional expansion of the Commerce Clause.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46310.html#ixzz1813avp4f

The highest-profile lawsuit may come from Florida. State officials there have objected not only to the individual coverage mandate, but also to a requirement forcing states to expand Medicaid. Florida’s litigation is supported by 19 other states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North and South Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington.

via Virginia judge rules health care mandate unconstitutional – CNN.com.

Possibly related posts:

Breaking: Virginia Judge Rules Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

Individual Mandate in Healthcare Reform Law Ruled Unconstitutional ‎ – Medscape
Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional, Says Federal Judge‎ – TIME (blog)
Federal Judge Finds Part of Obama Health Care Law to Be ‎ – ABC News

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