A federal judge in Florida has struck down parts of the new healthcare bill as unconstitutional. Declares bill void:
The full text of the decision from Federal Judge Roger Vinson is not available yet, but according to reporters who’ve seen the decision, he’s ruled the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The ruling favors of the 26 state attorney generals challenging the law. The judge ruled the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance invalid and, according to the decision, “because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”
Text of opinion online here.
UPDATE: Does Vinson’s ruling impede implementation of the act? Competing bloggers at the WaPo see it differently. Ezra Klein (not a lawyer) says it won’t. Jennifer Rubin (a lawyer) had the brains to get a second opinion:
I read the section on “Injunction” and could scarely believe my eyes. Was the judge ordering the government not to enforce ObamaCare in all 26 states. Oh, yes, indeed.
Robert Alt of the Heritage Institute e-mailed me, “The judge noted that declaratory relief is the functional equivalent of an injunction, and applied the long-standing presumption ‘that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court.’ So in the case, the judge asserted that the declaratory relief should bind the parties. If the Obama administration wishes to impose the requirements of Obamacare upon the states, it will need to seek a stay of the opinion either from the judge, or from the 11th Circuit.”
“Developing,” as Matt Drudge would say.