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Another Federal Judge Challenges Health Care Law

Posted on Jan 31, 2011

Here we see the judiciary stomping grounds of Judge Roger Vinson, the latest challenger to Obama’s health care reform law, in Pensacola, Fla.

On Monday, another federal judge from our nation’s south made a bid to squelch President Obama’s big health care win from last year by arguing that the mandatory health insurance component of the law makes the whole thing unconstitutional.  —KA

The New York Times:

Unlike a Virginia judge in December, Judge Roger Vinson of Federal District Court in Pensacola, Fla., concluded that the insurance requirement was so essential to the workings of the Affordable Care Act that its unconstitutionality required that the entire Obama health care law be invalidated.

“The Act, like a defectively designed watch, needs to be redesigned and reconstructed by the watchmaker,” Judge Vinson wrote.

The judge declined, however, to immediately enjoin, or suspend, the law pending appeals, a process that could take two years. That left confusion about how the ruling might be interpreted in the 26 states that are parties to the legal challenge.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, February 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment

Well, Medicare collects payments.  I’d suggest making the whole business entirely tax-based, to which no reasonable Constitutional challenge would be possible.  (Not that someone wouldn’t try.)  But this would not have gone over because too much money and power are connected with the medical care and insurance industries; they had to be bought off.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 6, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

We are finally close to agreement—I can’t really predict what sort of legal double back flips with a 3/4 twist Scalia will do to explain his flip-flop, or, if he’ll actually be consistent with his past writings and vote for Constitutionality.  Sometimes facts and logic force us to look long-held beliefs in the face. If we have courage, we let the facts and logic rule.  If we don’t—we do mental gymnastics.

Now, the HCA is pretty punk-poor, but I blame Obama and Reid for that.  All they needed to do was force through a bill extending either Medicare or Medicaid to every American and legal resident.  No need for a lengthy bill, no Constitutional questions, and all the infrastructure and SOPs are already in place, as well as pricing schedules.


btw, if you are thinking of investing in the private prison industry..don’t. They are a piss-poor investment as they are not well-run businesses.  They are a good business idea but execution has been pretty lousy.  Just look at Cornell (the private prison company, not the university).

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By Anarcissie, February 5, 2011 at 2:23 am Link to this comment

ITW—I agree that Gonzalez might almost be said to extend the interstate commerce clause to anything anyone ever does, absurd as that may be.  The prison-industrial complex, with its thousands of employees, two million plus victims, and many billions of dollars, depends on the Drug War, and the Drug War depends on this unreasonable extension of Federal power.  There was no doubt the Supreme Court would back the Drug War; it is clear that sufficient political power will cause the words of the Constitution to be twisted in any way which serves the ruling class and its subordinate interest groups.

So the constitutionality of the the medical insurance legislation will be decided on the same basis: not by a common-sense reading of the plain language of the Constitution, but by whatever twists and turns our rulers demand.  For this reason I believe it will be found constitutional; I think the mandates are quite pleasing to the owners and operators of insurance companies.  They had forty or fifty million people who wouldn’t or couldn’t buy their product, and now the Federal government is going to put a gun to the heads of the recalcitrant.  It’s like a license to print money.

However, certain acts of apparent resistance must be performed, which some Republican judges are now performing, because the ordinary people who are going to be exploited by the new arrangement will be angry.  The judges are convenienced by the fact that the Constitution does not actually empower the Federal government to do what it is doing, so they have a pretty easy job.  As the circus works through its script, some will blame and others will be blamed, and the gravy train will roll on regardless.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 4, 2011 at 11:39 pm Link to this comment

I’ll bet I’ve read the Constitution far more times than you have—and I have YET to pretend, like you do, that the Commerce Clause doesn’t exist.  The Commerce Clause gives Congress virtual carte blanche to do anything it wants to regulate interstate commerce, and trust me on this—health care involves interstate commerce.

For over 100 years the US courts have interpreted it that way, even dear old Nino Scalia in the 2005 case of Gonzales v. Raich supported the POWER of the Federal Government to compel people do whatever all in the name of regulating interstate commerce.

Of course, this being a waving of the bloody flag to Republicans, Scalia will clear do legalistic gymnastics to try to show why Gonzales v. Raich doesn’t apply here.  Politics always rules the USSC, especially this crop of political animals.

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By Anarcissie, February 4, 2011 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

ITW—The Constitution does give the Federal government the power to tax, and to provide for the general welfare.  This is why Single Payer would be completely constitutional.  The Constitution does not give the Federal government the power to compel people to do business with chosen private parties.  This is why Obama’s servicing of the medical insurance industry is unconstitutional.

There is no sophistry here.  The Constitution empowers the Federal government to do some things and not others.  It’s all written in rather plain language and I invite you to read it.  Try

The people who wrote the Constitution were extremely concerned with centralized, authoritarian government.  Given the state of the world then and now, it seems like a reasonable concern.  Yet once again self-styled progressives are lined up to support centralized, authoritarian government against the Constitution.  Why?

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By Inherit The Wind, February 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, February 3 at 4:22 am Link to this comment

ITW—The automobile insurance analogy is not apposite.  Driving a car is neither a necessity nor a right.  If you don’t want to pay state-mandated insurance you are free not to drive on the state’s roads.

In any case the Federal power extends only to interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court has not quite reached the point of saying that breathing is interstate commerce, but they may, in order to uphold the present legislation.

Yeah, and if I don’t want to pay sales tax on the food I buy I’m free not to eat. And if I don’t want to pay the sales and other taxes on my electricity I’m free to live by candlelight.
That is simply a totally unrealistic, a sophist argument to try to defend an indefensible point.  There are mandates that you are forced to pay EVERYWHERE.

Try existing and prospering in any part of the United States that is not urban without a motor vehicle. Anyone who has ever had to depend on public buses knows what I mean.  If you don’t have a subway within walking distance you are screwed. 
Some states don’t FORCE you buy car insurance—but then you have to pay a waiver fee instead.

You and Barbie keep trying to twist the HC bill into some kind of special exception to the rule that the government can make you take money out of your pocket and give it, either directly or indirectly, to corporations.

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By Anarcissie, February 2, 2011 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment

ITW—The automobile insurance analogy is not apposite.  Driving a car is neither a necessity nor a right.  If you don’t want to pay state-mandated insurance you are free not to drive on the state’s roads.

In any case the Federal power extends only to interstate commerce.  The Supreme Court has not quite reached the point of saying that breathing is interstate commerce, but they may, in order to uphold the present legislation.

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By Elli Davis, February 2, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He should realize that the repeal of the whole bill will do more harm than he can imagine. The provision saying that nobody can be denied health insurance based on a pre-existing condition is clearly good and its repeal may cause many problems to people diagnosed with cancer or other serious medical conditions.

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By BarbieQue, February 2, 2011 at 4:58 pm Link to this comment

ITW says:”...We are forced to buy private insurance in myriad ways. If this is unconstitutional, so all ALL requirements to have insurance…”

You’re not stupid, so there must be some other reason you are having trouble grasping the concept of Enumerated Federal Powers, (Article I, section 8 of the US Constitution) vs. State powers- see Amendments 9 and 10. At no time in the History of the US have the Feds mandated the purchase of *anything*.

Here’s Zero himself explaining why Hillarys Mandate sucks, on the Ellen Degeneres show, February 28,2008:

“Both of us want to provide health care to all Americans…. But, she mandates that everybody buy health care. She’d have the government force every individual to buy insurance and I don’t have such a mandate because I don’t think the problem is that people don’t want health insurance, it’s that they can’t afford it…”

You can watch the constitutional scholar hisself deliver these words at this link here:

“..So, I focus more on lowering costs. This is a modest difference. But, it’s one that she’s tried to elevate, arguing that because I don’t force people to buy health care that I’m not insuring everybody. Well, if things were that easy, I could mandate everybody to buy a house, and that would solve the problem of homelessness. It doesn’t.”—Senator Barack Obama, February 28, 2008, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

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By c.d.embrey, February 2, 2011 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m for national health insurance on the line of what France, Germany and
Holland have at present.

Having said that, I’m in favor of repealing the present plan. Obamacare is
all about making stockholders of BigInsurance and BigPharma rich, not
providing health insurance to the American people.

The right calls Obamacare socialism, but to me it seems like something
Benito Mussolini would approve. Taxing Union Members Health Plans ...
what a good idea!

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By Inherit The Wind, February 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

There is nothing in the constitution that authorizes the government to force citizens to purchase products or services from a private for-profit business.  Just think about it for one second.  If the government had the authority to order citizens to spend their money on a private business, then wouldn’t they really just control all our expenditures, ordering us to buy food from their brother in law and pay rent to their mother?

Oh, yeah?  In the State of New York if you go driving down the street without having bought auto insurance from a private company, YOU CAN BE SENT TO JAIL FOR UP TO A YEAR!  Even possessing license plates without insurance (like when you sell the car) is considered de facto proof of driving without insurance.

This “mandate” with criminal penalties has been in place for many, many decades.  Sure, you can “choose” not to drive, but unless you live in a city with a subway or are Amish, you have to have a car. (And I believe even the Amish have to have liability insurance on their buggies.)

If you have a business where you go to someone else’s property, you have to be licensed and bonded (a kind of insurance) just to work.

We are forced to buy private insurance in myriad ways. If this is unconstitutional, so all ALL requirements to have insurance.

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By NABNYC, February 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm Link to this comment

I agree that the part of the healthcare bill that compels citizens to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.  There is nothing in the constitution that authorizes the government to force citizens to purchase products or services from a private for-profit business.  Just think about it for one second.  If the government had the authority to order citizens to spend their money on a private business, then wouldn’t they really just control all our expenditures, ordering us to buy food from their brother in law and pay rent to their mother?  This is an unconstitutional intrusion into our private lives, and it should be overturn.

However, there is clear authority for the proposition that if a part of legislation is unconstitutional, a court should limit itself to overturning that one part, and allow the rest of it to stand.  By overturning the entire law, this court has shown that its real motive is unfortunately political.

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By Anarcissie, February 2, 2011 at 12:26 pm Link to this comment

I don’t see much judicial activism.  It is true that the Wickard and Gonzalez decisions are absurd, but they are absurd in service to will of Congress.  In any case Congress can overrule the Supreme Court by declaring certain subjects off limits to it: see Article III, Section 2, second paragraph of the Constitution.  There was much moaning and groaning about Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade, but few legislators wanted to actually overrule them because both of them were obviously political third rails (as they will remain as long as Black persons and women can vote).  The recent decisions in favor of gun rights, while they may not follow local legislatures, are entirely in accord with the preferences and beliefs of the majority of the general population; otherwise, we would have long since seen a movement to modify or rescind the Second Amendment.  What else are you all thinking of?

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By Mary Krook, February 2, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aren’t we required to buy auto insurance if we buy a car?  I believe if we use the health care system, it is only reasonable that we buy health insurance.

Following the rationale of this judge, auto insurance should also be unconstitutional.

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By AnnaCatherine, February 2, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Health Insurace is not a Constitutional matter. It’s about personal responsibility. Single payer is a great idea but there would still be a “premium” to be paid by the insured. There is no such thing as ‘free’. Somebody else is paying and that’s the part that I don’t like. If it’s unconsitutional to demand that people carry some form of health insurance, so be it. I would like some form of protection under the Constitution that allows me to refuse pay for those who refuse to pay for themselves. Tht does not include the very poor and the disabled.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 2, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

That’s why I respect you: You recognize that “judicial activism” isn’t simply a disease of liberal judges but infects the conservative ones just as well, and, is WRONG!  (even when you get a decision you like)

Appointment of Federal judges and justices is, and has always been a political event.  Republicans remember Robert Bork getting “Borked”, but further back, Abe Fortas was hounded from the USSC for “offenses” that by today’s standards would be laughable—Clarence Thomas has far exceeded Fortas in that matter yet remains untouchable.

But it goes back further to FDR’s attempt to expand the USSC so he could “pack” it with sympathetic justices (nothing in the Constitution tells us how many justices there should be).

With the “mistakes” of justices like Warren, Blackmun and Souter, the GOP has since strained to ensure that new federal judges and justices appointed by Bush II were proper GOP dogmatics.  Dems have been limited to conservative Dem judges by GOP filibustering (“Borking”) and we’ve ended up with a court system that is FAR more conservative than the American public.

I don’t object to TRUE conservative judges: They follow the Constitution as written, the decisions of the past, Stare Decisis, and don’t just invent stuff to justify current policy, regardless of whether it’s right or left.

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By BarbieQue, February 2, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

I am pretty sure of one thing, when it comes to this Health Insurance Ripoff and Enslavement Act (HIRE):

Everyone that supports it now (even *after* Max Baucus had single payer advocates *arrested* at a *hearing*) EXACTLY AS written by (D)emocrats…

Would have supported the EXACT SAME law written by (R)epublicans.


A law that requires purchase of insurance from for profit companies without a public option or face harassment from the IRS.

Absolutely no question that the same people would support it.

There isn’t even a shadow of a doubt in my mind.

None whatsoever.


Sure of it.

(I won’t be taking part in any mandate, and my personal records will never be stored by government agents, that is a promise. And I can’t wait to be called a “freeloader” in person. It’s going to be a day the caller doesn’t forget. That is another promise!)

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By par4, February 2, 2011 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama’s ‘big health care win’ is so unpopular the despised Republicans are back in control of the House. Many more wins like that and we might end up with an administration that’s worse than the Bush/Obama years have been.

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By ardee, February 2, 2011 at 6:13 am Link to this comment

One hears the spokespersons on the right prattle about “activist judges” appointed by Democrats.
Judge Vinson was appointed by that noted “democrat” Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Just another in a series of examples of why the right is so full of shite.

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By OzarkMichael, February 2, 2011 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

I disagree with Judges invalidating legislation unless the law is clearly unconstitutional. It happens too often and citizens ought to get upset about whether or not they like the legislation.

The more often and farther afield Judges go with “vetoes” of ballot initiatives and acts of congress, the further away governmental power gets from the people. Judges are the ‘least accountable’ branch of government, and their expanded power actually weakens our system by turning informed, concerned, politically active citizens into spectators. That is a bad trend.

One lower court decides part of ‘Obamacare’ is unconstitutional, and then it further decides that the one bad part is so interwoven with the whole that the whole of Obamacare can be invalidated. Too much power in one little courtroom, and frankly its so arbitrary. How did US court system get into this mess? The one thing they must never be is arbitrary. 

One little courtroom seems to invalidate the arguments and meetings and discussions that went on all over America, people calling their Representatives and Senators. A year’s worth of work by Congress. 90% of the political capital spent by our President went into this too. 

One court, one guy, one little piece of paper… can negate all that democratic process. 

Do I like Obamacare? No. I think its awful.  Nevertheless, i dislike the court intrusiveness MORE than I dislike the intrusiveness of Obamacare, because the swelling of authority in the Judiciary over our democratic process threatens the entire governmental system.

Invalidating a duly enacted law should only be done on a ‘clear and present danger’ of unconstitutionality. (Sounds good, but I have no idea if that is practical. am i just venting? yeah i guess so)

Nor do I think that the decisions of the Supreme Court are so sacred that they cant be challenged later. I dont see why the judiciary cant invalidate its own prior rulings in the same way they invalidate legislation and Presidential action. If a constitutional spanking is good for the Congress, it would be good for the Court as well. By reviewing their own precedents once in awhile the Courts would be two notches less powerful.

Heres what its all about folks: keeping Leviathan trimmed back. The Court should be less activist, the Congress must not spend money it doesnt have, and the President is not our King. Of those three problems the Courts are the ones we will have the hardest time ever reigning in.

As time goes by we learn things that we didnt know before, we realize some mistakes and get a glimmer of what we should do better. The Court is no different. For example: Roe vs Wade interrupted an ongoing democratic process plus it was poorly reasoned legally(and in my opinion morally).

I know you like the result, but that shouldnt be the point.

I understand that lawyers say we cant keep fighting over the basics, and that some line has to be drawn or nothing is ‘settled’ and its all up in the air. But how about just sticking with the Constitution? Thats the line.  And why not keep arguing over it? I think its healthier than freezing a 5-4 decision as “settled law” forever and ever.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 2, 2011 at 1:23 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, I agree.  Obama had a really good idea during the campaign: extend Medicaid to all Americans.

It could have been Medicare just as well.  The infrastructure is all there, the systems, forms, tools, and standard operating procedures.  Even the rate structuring is there.

But he f***ed it up big-time.  Rather than just push for a simple, elegant solution FOR WHICH HE HAD THE VOTES, they tried to appease Republicans (remember how Olympia Snowe strung them along for months getting all kinds of concession—then voted “No” anyway?)

The whole damn bill could have been written on a greeting card.  And yet the Reids and Pelosis and Obamas try to tell me I just don’t understand…What don’t I understand? That they’ve lost sight of the forest for the trees?

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By Anarcissie, February 1, 2011 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

ITW—You are noticing one of the reasons the HCA was a bad move.  The Constitutional problem was brought up at the time it was passed by a number of people, and of course pooh-poohed, but it is obvious and it was certain to elicit challenges.  That is a serious matter with a right-wing Supreme Court. 

Ironically, stronger measures like Single Payer would stand on much better Constitutional ground.  Congress has the explicitly given powers to tax and to provide for the general welfare, which could certainly include medical expenses.  But the rich must be served at all times, and the present plan serves the rich first.  Of course, I think this is the present law’s ace in the hole, the payoff that may protect it from the thugs of the plutocracy.

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By Chris Taus, February 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The momentum is slowly building; it may take a while
longer, but our country will see the return of
constitutional rule of law!

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By Inherit The Wind, February 1, 2011 at 7:17 pm Link to this comment


If you think about it, that makes it even worse.  Health care companies, the US government, doctors, patients, EVERYBODY will have to choose either to do NOTHING for two year, then find out they are two years behind, or act as if it’s final, only to have it tossed in the trash in two years.

It’s like one of those mines that goes off sending shards of plastic everywhere.

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By RAE, February 1, 2011 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

This whole mess strikes me as a gold-plated example of what happens when everyone involved is ignorant of or just plain ignores the basic common sense of Occam’s Razor.

When everyone - EVERYONE - in a society is maintained in reasonably good health as a RIGHT OF CITIZENSHIP, then, IMHO, EVERYONE in that society benefits.

We in the more civilized parts of the western world watch and listen in profound amazement to the hysterics generated in the grand USofA when anyone or anything even hints at socialism. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, you know.

The health of every single citizen is EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS because when anyone is suffering everyone is the poorer for it. When something is to everyone’s benefit why is not reasonable to assume the fairness that everyone should participate to support it?

From there it’s only a short hop to Occam’s SIMPLE SOLUTION. The easiest possible way to resolve HOW to support it is, from the general revenue collected, take a TINY PORTION away from building tanks and planes and bombs with which to KILL, and put it towards a universal health care system which, in theory at least, is supposed to heal.

The American problem with universal health care completely baffles me.

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By Anarcissie, February 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

ITW—‘The judge declined, however, to immediately enjoin, or suspend, the law pending appeals, a process that could take two years.’  Nothing has changed.  The babble goes on.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

This is going to be the biggest blow-back the GOP has had to face since the Crash of ‘29.  They voted to repeal “Obamacare” and now a GOP judge has done it for them, even without the Senate and the President signing off on it.

The shit is going to hit the fan 16 different ways as all the cost-cutting measures of the package have been thrown out too.  Combine that with the Teaparty members determined not to raise the debt ceiling and, well, I sure wouldn’t want to be John Boehner right now. You think he’s cried before?  Wait, wait.

“Be careful what you wish for”

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By Anarcissie, February 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

In a common-sense interpretation Constitution, an individual’s failure or refusal to buy medical insurance from a private insurer could not possibly be called ‘interstate commerce’.  However, the Constitution is not interpreted according to common sense but according to politics.  The previously-mentioned Wickard and the infamous Gonzalez decisions effectively put any activity whatever, even breathing, into the realm of interstate commerce.  Common sense and ordinary logic are simply not part of the equation.  Now, the Supreme Court, although right-wing, might not want to overturn the act, since it bids fair to be enormously profitable to the rich people who own and operate medical insurance companies, and a revisiting of the issue might unleash dangerous political forces and result in a less desirable outcome, like Single-Payer.  Proggies are already lining up to support the act—it’s government so it must be good—and of course it belongs to the Democrats. Given this configuration of political forces, I’m going to bet that nothing significant will happen any time soon, although much noise will no doubt be made by those in charge of making noise.

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By Inherit The Wind, February 1, 2011 at 10:08 am Link to this comment


Perhaps you should read your own citation of Wickard vs Filburn.  The lower courts ruled for Filburn but the Supremes upheld the Government’s right to force him NOT to grow excess wheat.

By invalidating Congress’ rights to create the Health Care Act and force those who could afford it to pay for it (gee, like taxes are Unconstitutional as well???) he effectively said the Commerce Clause and 100 years of judicial history are INVALID!  Asking for a citation is nothing but obfuscation, and you know it.

Despite the Conservatives on the USSC, they have been fairly supportive of the Commerce Clause so it’s not a “done deal” that “Obamacare” will be overturned.

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By M L, February 1, 2011 at 10:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m with you Queenie

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By Dahlia, February 1, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Since this is heading to the Supreme Court and since they are decidedly very conservative, the law will be struck down.

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By BarbieQue, February 1, 2011 at 4:12 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind said:
“Actually, the judge just ruled that the Commerce Clause in the main body of the Constitution is (wait for it) “Unconstitutional”!

Where in the ruling did he state this?

Please cite the page #.


To interpret the “commerce clause” in such a way as to *require* participation in commerce is the basis of the disagreement, but I’m no lawyer, so I could be wrong.

But even “settled law” never *required* participation in commerce.

So, ITW, do you think Wickard v. Filburn is an appropriate interpretation of the Commerce Clause?

Behold and all its warts.

Why did the Feds need an Amendment to the Constitution to prohibit the manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol?

The Constitution was built to be amended, not twisted into whatever the ruling party thought was cool at the time.

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By Inherit The Wind, January 31, 2011 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment

Actually, the judge just ruled that the Commerce Clause in the main body of the Constitution is (wait for it) “Unconstitutional”!

(That’s called “Judicial Activism” writ large.)

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By Queenie, January 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm Link to this comment

Scrap the whole thing and go for


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By BarbieQue, January 31, 2011 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment

This is special:

“Judge uses Obama’s words against him”

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.


The footnote was attached to the most critical part of Judge Vinson‘s ruling, in which he said the “principal dispute” in the case was not whether Congress has the power to tackle health care, but rather whether it has the power to compel individual citizens to purchase insurance.

Judge Vinson cited Mr. Obama‘s campaign words from an interview with CNN to show that there are other options that could pass constitutional muster including then-candidate Obama‘s plan.

During the presidential campaign, one key difference between Mr. Obama and his chief opponent, then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, was that Mrs. Clinton‘s plan required all Americans to purchase insurance and Mr. Obama‘s did not.

Congress eventually included the individual mandate in the bill it passed, and Mr. Obama signed that into law in March. Since then, he and his administration have defended its constitutionality, arguing the mandate is the linchpin that brings in more customers to insurance companies, which in turn allows those companies to expand the availability and lower the cost of coverage.

Much of Judge Vinson‘s ruling was a discussion of how the Founding Fathers, including James Madison and Thomas Jefferson, saw the limits on congressional power. Judge Vinson hypothesized that, under the Obama administration‘s legal theory, the government could mandate that all citizens eat broccoli.

White House officials said that sort of “surpassingly curious reading” called into question Judge Vinson‘s entire ruling.

“There’s something thoroughly odd and unconventional about the analysis,” said a White House official who briefed reporters late Monday afternoon, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

No real democrat would have supported this forced purchase of a faulty product from those that helped to cause the current mess with no public option to hold down costs. Especially after single payer advocates were ****ARRESTED**** at a “HEARING”!!!

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