Monday, January 31, 2011

Florida Judge Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional

Good news for us folks and States who understand the Constitution and the violation of the 111th Congress on our rights.
On to the Supreme Court we go.

MIAMI (Reuters) - A federal judge in Florida struck down President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul as unconstitutional on Monday, in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, ruled that the reform law's so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.

"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications," Vinson wrote.
Referring to a key provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, he sided with governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans, in declaring it unconstitutional.

"Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution," the judge ruled.

The administration said it may ask the U.S. appeals court to hold off on any changes in the implementation of the law pending an appeal Judge Vinson's decision. The highly politicized issue will likely end up at the Supreme Court for final determination.
The plaintiffs represent more than half the U.S. states, so the Pensacola case has more prominence than some two dozen lawsuits filed in federal courts over the healthcare law.
The healthcare overhaul enacted last year, a contentious cornerstone of Obama's presidency, aims to expand health insurance to cover millions of uninsured Americans. Administration officials insist it is constitutional and needed to stem huge projected increases in healthcare costs.

Two other district court judges have rejected challenges to the individual mandate.
But a federal district judge in Richmond, Virginia, last month struck down that central provision of the law in a case in that state, saying it invited an "unbridled exercise of federal police powers."
There was immediate strong reaction to the ruling.
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an influential national advocacy group that pushed for the healthcare overhaul, called Vinson's decision an example of "radical judicial activism run amok" and predicted it would be reversed on appeal.
"The decision flies in the face of three other decisions, contradicts decades of legal precedent, and could jeopardize families' health care security," he said in a statement.
"This just adds to the conflicting nature of the rulings that we've seen so far," said Matthew Coffina, an analyst with Morningstar.

"I think everyone watching the industry at this point has been expecting the Supreme Court to ultimately decide this situation, so I think that's the main reason you're not seeing the stocks react one way or another right now," Coffina said.
The states involved in the lawsuit were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Maine, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


AdamsPatriot said...

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an influential national advocacy group that pushed for the healthcare overhaul, called Vinson's decision an example of "radical judicial activism run amok".

Radical judicial activism ...HUH?

Ronny, It's called a judgement based upon the Constitution!

Unknown said...

How can following the constitution be judicial activism unless you don't believe what has been our governing document for over 200 years.

Opposition of the constitution is radical activism and it needs to be destroyed in this country.

Anonymous said...

You know what i find hilarious about this case and others is that it all hinges on a judges view of a "Inactivity" and the invocation of the Commerce Clause.

But in the Steeh affirmation the judge uses a recent (2005) court case Gonzales v. Raich in which the government argued that even if medical marijuana is not sold and is not in any part of commerce that it had a right to regulate it. And it won. Albrto Gonzales and the Justice Dept. won. The conservative Supreme Court gave some serious power to the federal government under its decision. But i feel like the Rahm decision that it only followed precedent.

Whats even funnier is that Judge Steeh ruled using the concurrent affirmation of Justice Scalia in that case which reads like this,

"Unlike the power to regulate activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, the power to enact laws enabling effective regulation of interstate commerce can only be exercised in conjunction with congressional regulation of an interstate market, and it extends only to those measures necessary to make the interstate regulation effective. As Lopez itself states, and the Court affirms today, Congress may regulate noneconomic intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce. ... This is not a power that threatens to obliterate the line between “what is truly national and what is truly local.”[7]

So then the argument turns on the decision of a conservative justice. Does the decision of people to buy healthcare undercut Congress's ability to regulate healthcare and increase healthcare coverage for all.

We will see what happens when it gets to the Supreme Court. Scalia may be stuck because he can't go back on his previous decision.

Anonymous said...

And having read Judge Vinson's opinion i am likely to agree that he was not only guilty of judicial activism, but that he was happy to do it. It seems that he felt the right to challenge the previous rulings of the Supreme Court as if he was capable of doing so. I am not sure that the judicial prudence of a circuit court judge is above the precedence of the supreme court.

I also felt having read his decision and that of Steehs that he failed to follow case law and Supreme Court precedence, but instead relied heavily on academic works of authors none of whom sat on the Supreme Court (but one that wanted to and almost did.)

And while my feeling about the individual mandate is that i am not in favor of it, the fact exists that Judge Steeh makes a better case for the reality of the situation, where people who choose not to purchase healthcare will and do affect the intrastate commerce of healthcare and the citizens. They will use the emergency room instead of doctor offices so not to be refused. They will leave unpaid bills that drive up our costs.

In such a way the "inactivity" of the aggregate does effect Congress's ability to regulate health care. And seeing that caselaw and precedence establishes that Congress has rights in such cases to make laws then i see no where for this to go but to be affirmed.

Unknown said...

“Gonzales v. Raich- “marijuana is not sold and is not in any part of commerce that it had a right to regulate it.”
The ruling was based on two factors. One that it’s an illegal substance because The Controlled Substances Act does not recognize the medical use of marijuana. And two, the government may regulate personal cultivation and consumption of the crops. THOSE are activities. So there was NO “right to challenge the previous rulings of the Supreme Court”
“but instead relied heavily on academic works of authors none of whom sat on the Supreme Court”
In his ruling he sighted the federalist papers and James Madison, that determined how he would rule for the most part. So those “ authors” are our founding fathers, which he should have used to come to a decision.
The commerce clause was specifically written to referee the laws of different states on commerce. The power hungry left have abused this clause of its intended purpose. Just like the taxation clauses within the constitution.

Be prepared that if this is ruled constitutional, YOUR freewill, JOE will be in the hands of Government.
If the government says to buy stock in a company, or buy a box of pencils, you WILL be required to do so.
And this could be very troubling situation for peace in this country.

AdamsPatriot said...

Mark, you are spot on! Joe is trying to spin the decision by drawing a parallel that has no resemblance to logic.

Today, the WH have made a comment that mirrors Pollacks comment on 'activism'.

Clearly, the President and other liberal leaders that align with him, cannot comprehend the Constitution nor uphold it as their ideology and desperation for power over the American People do not mix well with the intent of Constitution.

Joe, you will see 'judicial activism' from the left leaning SC juctices once this law comes before them to decide.

In the meantime, congress needs to defund it and the Senate needs to repeal it.

Anonymous said...

Mark, wow you really got that wrong didn't you.
Gonzales v. Raich is the decision that allows Congress to regulate the Controlled substance act not the other way around.

That the court case revolved around whether or not the federal government had the constitutional authority to override the State of California's laws, not whether the drug was on the "Controlled substances Act"

So if you understand the simple concept of Justice Scalia's opinion in Raich then you understand how requiring insurance would fit his concurrence.

While you and others see it as inactivity, the reality is that the lack of health insurance creates costs associated with the uninsured and in the end that does drive up costs for the insured and would in the "AGGREGATE" harm the federal governments attempt to effectively control commerce.

Now if you believe that the founders did not give the federal government that level of power than we have to start looking at decisions and precedence from previous courts including the one that granted the federal government the right to override states rights in Gonzales v Raich.

If i was Angel Raich I'd be pissed right now. Conservatives think its okay to give the congress the power to neuter states of their rights where Medical Marijhuana is concerned but regulate health care in an attempt to get better health care for most Americans and the right demands a return to pre-new deal precedent on the Commerce Clause.

Except Clarence "pubic hair" Thomas. He got it right. He said in his defense that concurring with Raich gave Congress the power to regulate everything. BV

Except maybe better healthcare.

Unknown said...

JHC Joe that is the most pathetic excuse I have heard to date "lack of health insurance creates costs associated with the uninsured"
BS. You don't expect me to believe that someone going in to the ER for treatment, that the hospital sends the bill to some insurance company, do you?


I'm wrong?
Look for yourself.

Gonzales v. Raich (previously Ashcroft v. Raich), 545 U.S. 1 (2005), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court ruling that under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress may criminalize the production and use of home-grown cannabis even where states approve its use for medicinal purposes.

There is NOTHING about regulation!
As I stated:
"One that it’s an illegal substance because The Controlled Substances Act does not recognize the medical use of marijuana."
"may regulate personal cultivation(Production) and consumption(Use) of the crops"

Scalia opinion " Congress may regulate --->noneconomic<---- intrastate activities only where the failure to do so “could … undercut” its regulation of interstate commerce

Your argument is over. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making my argument for me, along with looking foolish in the attempt to debate my point. It was extremely nice of you to do that. I didn't expect it but i do appreciate it.

And as far as the cost of the uninsured i do expect you to believe that the costs are passed on to the consumer and the taxpayers. I do, not because I believe it but because its true.

By 2010, there will be 11 states in which employer-provided family health coverage will cost more than $2,000 extra to pay for health services to the uninsured. These states are New Mexico ($3,169); West Virginia ($2,940); Oklahoma ($2,911); Texas ($2,786); Arkansas ($2,748); Florida ($2,248); Alaska ($2,248); Montana ($2,190); Idaho ($2,152); Washington ($2,144); and Arizona ($2,028). Families USA.

These shifted costs have a significant impact on Hoosiers. Each Indiana family with health insurance paid an additional $953 in premiums in 2005 to cover the cost of the uninsured. By 2010, premiums are expected to be $1,494 higher for families to account for the cost of the uninsured.

And up to 85% of all uncompensated treatment for the uninsured is offset by Taxpayers through local, state and federal government payments.

So does the uninsured affect the ability of Congress to regulate affordable healthcare or not?

Anonymous said...

As for who he cites your correct that he sites the Federalist papers, but your intentionally avoiding my argument that he also sites authors other than than the founders.

1. Robert H. Bork & Daniel E. Troy,Locating the Boundaries: The Scope of Congress’s Power to Regulate Commerce

2. Randy E. Barnett, The Original Meaningof the Commerce Clause, 68 U. Chi. L. Rev. 101, 114-16 (2001) (“Barnett”);

3. Robert L. Stern, That Commerce Which Concerns More States than One, 47 Harv. L. Rev. 1335, 1346 (1934) (“Stern”)

4. Kenneth Klukowski, Citizen GunRights: Incorporating the Second Amendment Through the Privileges or ImmunitiesClause, 39 N.M. L. Rev. 195, 232-33 (2009)

5. MatthewFarley, Challenging Supremacy: Virginia’s Response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 45 U. Rich. L. Rev. 37, 65 (2010)],

He also goes on to reference the CRS and some of its briefs but we would all believe that any Congressional Research would be pertinent to the case.

Anonymous said...

Now finally on to your argument concern the CSA. The fact is that criminalization is in regulation and that Scalia and the other 5 justices found that Congress had a broad mandate to regulate Drugs it felt were illicit through the Commerce Clause. I'm not sure what your trying to prove, but i get the feeling you agree with the criminalization of Medical marihjuana as a constitutionally correct application, while i don't. Does this go back to partisan leanings?

We don't need to go into what the CSA says or does, the Federal government was given almost unlimited power to regulate anything it wants under Raich. The decision in Raich actually validates the CSA not the other way around. If the justices had decided in Raich's favor states would effectively be able to override the CSA in this type of case and others. It would have restricted the Feds right to regulate non-commercial, non intrastate drug activity.

Now read this part of Thomas's opinion. He illustrates the fault of the court decision and how that decision allows for things like the Individual mandate.

If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress' Article I powers -- as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause -- have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to "appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce."

Now do you see where i am coming from? The fact is that the Raich decision gives the Congress the right to enforce the individual mandate, because the costs passed on by lack of insurance are (not because it is interstate commerce,) "but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce."