U.S. District Court judge Henry Hudson has ruled key provision of the Democrats health care reform law unconstitutional.
from The Wall Street Journal:
A federal district judge sided with the state of Virginia in its challenge to the health law passed in March, saying Congress exceeded its “constitutional boundaries” when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a fine.
Judge Henry E. Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia said the provision in the bill, known as the individual mandate, “would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”
The ruling is perhaps the most significant so far among a slate of state-based legal challenges to the law, which faces a broad attack by newly resurgent Republicans in Congress. More than 20 federal lawsuits have been filed against the health overhaul since President Obama signed it in March. The individual mandate doesn’t take effect until 2014.
Judge Hudson’s ruling deals serve blow to health care reform advocates. Saying in part:
“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market,” he wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I .”
Judge Hudson’s ruling will undoubtedly be appealed. A separate suit filed by 20 states still pending before federal Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla., who will hear arguments in the case on Thursday.