Federal Judge In Florida Rules Health Law Unconstitutional

With this decision, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson issued the first opinion to strike down the entire health overhaul as various legal challenges to the sweeping measure continue to wind their way to the Supreme Court.

The Washington Post: Judge Strikes Down Entire New Health Care Law
A federal judge in Florida on Monday became the first to strike down the entire law that overhauled the nation’s health-care system, potentially complicating implementation of the statute in the 26 states that brought the suit (Aizenman and Goldstein, 2/1).

The New York Times: Federal Judge Rules That Health Law Violates Constitution
A second federal judge ruled on Monday that it was unconstitutional for Congress to enact a health care law that required Americans to obtain commercial insurance, evening the score at 2 to 2 in the lower courts as conflicting opinions begin their path to the Supreme Court (Sack, 1/31).

NPR: Federal Judge In Florida Rules Health Overhaul Violates Constitution
Attorneys general in 26 states had joined to bring the case in conjunction with two individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business group. This is the fourth district court decision to reach a decision on the merits of the health law. Two have upheld its constitutionality; two have found it unconstitutional. All are being appealed (Hensley, 1/31).

The Wall Street Journal: Judge Rejects Health Law
A federal judge ruled that Congress violated the Constitution by requiring Americans to buy insurance as part of the health overhaul passed last year, and said the entire law “must be declared void” (Adamy, 2/1).

Los Angeles Times: Federal Judge Says Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Florida dealt President Obama’s health care overhaul a sweeping blow Monday, ruling the law unconstitutional because of its requirement that Americans have health insurance starting in 2014 (Levey and Savage, 2/1).

USA Today: Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional
A federal judge’s ruling Monday that the health care law that passed last year is unconstitutional leaves implementation exactly where it was: moving forward. And, according to senior administration officials, that will continue unless Congress votes to repeal the law or the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional (Kennedy and Biskupic, 2/1).

McClatchy: Health Law Takes Another Hit; Judge Rules It Unconstitutional
In a 78-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson says the portion of the law that requires individuals to obtain health insurance exceeds Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause, in part because it attempts to regulate inactivity rather than activity. Since the individual mandate is the “keystone or linchpin” of Obama’s health law, Vinson also ruled that it and all the other provisions of the law “are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit” (Talev and Lightman, 1/31).

The Boston Globe: US Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional
Vinson’s ruling was not a surprise. The judge, nominated for the federal bench in 1983 by President Reagan, a Republican, had hinted in earlier writings that the individual mandate has no precedent in US law. But the breadth of his ruling and the scope of the case, representing governors and attorneys general from more than half of the states, bolster its political significance. The ruling is a political setback for the Obama administration, which has been rolling out elements of the law even as it aggressively defends the overall package from a repeal attempt by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives (Arsenault, 2/1).

Fox News: Judge Rules Health Care Law Is Unconstitutional
A U.S. district judge on Monday threw out the nation’s health care law, declaring it unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause and surely reviving a feud among competing philosophies about the role of government (1/31).

PBS NewsHour: Florida Judge Strikes Down Obama Health Care Overhaul
In his 78-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson wrote, “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” (Clune and Bowser, 1/31).

CNN: Federal Judge Tosses Out Sweeping Health Care Reform Act
Monday’s sweeping ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen separate challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled “Obamacare.”

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