RICHMOND - A federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the nation's sweeping health-care overhaul is unconstitutional, the most significant legal setback so far for President Obama's signature domestic initiative.However, in contrast to the ComPost's biased polling, Rasmussen Reports shows that support for repealing Obamacare has hit its highest level (60 percent) since September.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson found that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.
In a 42-page opinion, Hudson said the provision of the law that requires most individuals to get insurance or pay a fine by 2014 is an unprecedented expansion of federal power that cannot be supported by Congress's power to regulate interstate trade.
"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 [of the Constitution.]
...The ruling comes in a case filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), who said he was defending a new state statute that made it illegal to require people to carry health insurance in Virginia.
"I am gratified we prevailed," Cuccinelli said in a statement. "This won't be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution."
...According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a slim majority of all Americans - including almost all Republicans - oppose the health-care reform law. But the legislation's detractors are split on whether and how much of it should be rolled back.
Prof. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has more.
Mark Levin "The Great One" at Landmark Legal Foundation said of the court's ruling.
"Today Judge Hudson ruled against the Obama Administration on three essential points involving Obamacare: 1. Individuals who do not actively participate in commerce -- that is, who do not voluntarily purchase health insurance -- cannot be said to be participating in commerce under the United State Constitution's Commerce Clause, and there is no Supreme Court precedent providing otherwise; 2. The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution cannot be used as a backdoor means to enforce a statute that is not otherwise constitutional under Congress's enumerated powers; and 3. There is a difference between a tax and a penalty, there is much Supreme Court precedent in this regard, and the penalty provision in Obamacare is not a tax but a penalty and, therefore, is unconstitutional for it is applied to individuals who choose not to purchase health care.Thank God for leaders like Ken Cuccinelli, as well as other attorney generals across the nation (like Greg Abbott of Texas), and groups like Landmark Legal Foundation for their work in rolling back this monstrosity which was forced upon this nation against our will, and against the founding principles of this nation.
"Judge Hudson's ruling against the Obama Administration and for the Commonwealth of Virginia gives hope that the rule of law and the Constitution itself still have meaning. Landmark Legal Foundation has filed several amicus briefs in this case, at the request of the Commonwealth, and will continue to provide support in the likely event the Commonwealth is required to defend this decision in the Fourth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court. Landmark would also like to congratulate Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the excellent lawyers in his office for their superb legal skills.
"It is a great day for the rule of law and the citizenry. Judge Hudson's ruling is ironclad, and General Cuccinelli deserves an enormous amount of credit for taking on this matter. We look forward to continuing to work with him."