President Barack Obama’s health care reform legislation, assailed as an abuse of federal power in a 26-state lawsuit, was ruled unconstitutional by a U.S. judge.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, declared the law unconstitutional in a ruling today. Then- Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed suit on behalf of 13 states on March 23, the same day Obama signed into law the legislation intended to provide the U.S. with almost universal health-care coverage. Seven states joined the litigation last year, and six signed on this year. Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli sued separately on March 23 and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed his own suit on Jan. 21.
Vinson’s ruling may be appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta. A federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, is already slated in May to hear challenges to two conflicting federal court rulings in that state, one of which upheld the legislation while the other invalidated part of it. The U.S. Supreme Court may ultimately be asked to consider the issue.