Ed Driscoll

Breaking: Federal Judge Rules ObamaCare Unconstitutional

On the PJM Homepage, Bryan Preston links to the Fox News article on the story, which notes:

Casting an unmistakable and perhaps permanent pockmark on the face of the Obama administration, a federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a major component of the new health care reform law is unconstitutional.

Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled Monday for the state’s claim that the requirement for people to purchase health care exceeds the power of Congress under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

Bryan adds:

This ruling covers the Virginia case, brought by state AG Ken Cuccinelli, against ObamaCare.  The Florida case, which has been joined by Texas and nearly two dozen other states, proceeds.  Oral arguments in that case begin on Thursday.  The way the law was constructed, striking down the individual mandate, as this federal judge has, strikes down the entire law.

Josh Marshall, in a state of shock, says that “no one” took the constitutional argument against ObamaCare seriously.  Obviously a majority of the voters did, a couple dozen state attorneys general did, and a federal judge has as well.

Next stop, the US Supreme Court (after appeals, of course).

Ed Morrissey also has a thorough round-up at Hot Air:

Fox News is now reporting that Judge Hudson won’t issue an injunction against the entire ObamaCare law, which means that he’s seeing a de facto severability in it.  Without the mandate, though, the system won’t work at all, which gives Congress a big opening to dismantle the rest.Update IV: Gabe Malor has begun perusing the opinion and finds the heart of Hudson’s decision on page 24:

Judge Hudson (pg 24): mandate “exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I”

Hudson also rejected the administration’s argument that this was permissible under taxation authority by noting that the administration had publicly disputed that it was a tax, and Congress had rejected that argument as well when passing the bill (pages 33-36).   Instead, Hudson found it to be a “penalty,” and unconnected to any enumerated power (page 36).

Update V: Hudson hits the nail on the head with this:

Hudson rejected the government’s argument that it has the power under the Constitution to require individuals to buy health insurance, a provision that was set to take effect in 2014.

“Of course, the same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing or nutritional decisions,” Hudson wrote. “This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation” and is unsupported by previous legal cases around the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

Hudson — perhaps not inadvertently — just described the progressive agenda in a single sentence, and why the Constitution forbids it.

Stand by — more to come….

Glenn Reynolds posits, “I’m wondering if a lot of politicians who initially supported ObamaCare are now secretly hoping it is blocked by the courts, getting them off the hook. . . .”

Particularly when, as ABC reports, polls show “New Low in Support for Health Care Reform.”

“Reform” being a rather leading term in this case.