OBAMACARE RULLED UNCONSTITUTIONAL – AT 6:01 P.M. ET: A federal judge in Florida has ruled the Obama health-reform law unconstitutional. We caution that this is a district judge, whose opinion can now be appealed to a federal appeals court, and all the way up to the Supreme Court. From WaPo:
A federal judge in Florida struck down the entire new health-care law Monday, ruling that its requirement that Americans obtain health insurance is unconstitutional and cannot be separated from the rest of the statute.
The decision by U.S. District Court judge Roger Vinson in a suit brought by the attorneys general and governors of 26 states - all but one of them Republican - is a more sweeping repudiation of the law than a ruling out of Virginia that also found the insurance mandate invalid.
At a time when House Republicans already have voted to repeal the law, the ruling bolsters GOP arguments in a legal battle widely expected to end in the Supreme Court. Twenty-five court challenges have been filed since the law's adoption last March; with Monday's decision, two rulings so far have upheld it and two have found all or part of it unconstitutional.
COMMENT: This legal fight is far from over, and Republicans should not sit back, contented. The ultimate issue won't be whether Obamacare survives the constitutional test, but whether Republicans can up with an acceptable alternative that satisfies the nation's demand for reform of the health-care system. So far, I have not seen a GOP plan.
January 31, 2011