Florida district judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional
And here’s the money quote:
It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.
If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be “difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power” [...] and we would have a Constitution in name only. Surely this is not what the Founding Fathers could have intended.
Judge Roger Vinson issued the ruling earlier today:
Vinson rejects the administration’s argument that the health care market is unique since nobody can truly opt out. Vinson mocks this argument a bit, writing: “Everyone must participate in the food market… under this logic, Congress could [mandate] that every adult purchase and consume wheat bread daily.” Later he offers another analogy: “Congress could require that everyone above a certain income threshold buy a General Motors automobile — now partially government-owned — because those who do not buy GM cars (or those who buy foreign cars) are adversely impacting commerce and a taxpayer-subsidized business.”
Vinson concludes: “The individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined, and applied in the existing Supreme Court case law.”
As the piece notes, the law will probably end up in front of the Supreme Court at some point.
UPDATE. This is a bit inconvenient:
In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.
“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.
Here’s a glaring case of waffleitis on the part of a Democrat politician, doing the opposite of what he proposed as a candidate. I wonder if anyone outside the conservative commentariat will
notice point this out?
And just as an aside, if a Federal court deems a statute unconstitutional, shouldn’t that require the executive branch to immediately cease enforcing said statute? I’m waiting for the wailing and lamentations from the virtuous left about respecting the judiciary branch of government and the Constitution in 3…2…1…
[Hat Tip: The Other McCain]