This was the big case, with 26 states suing the Feds over the insurance mandate.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson agreed with the states that the new law violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. He went a step further than a previous ruling against the law, declaring the entire thing unconstitutional if the insurance requirement does not hold up. [emphasis mine]
That last bit is big – the judge in Virginia’s lawsuit stopped short of voiding the whole act, even though removing the mandate essentially guts the main parts of it (but not all the little things that we were told “we have to pass it to find out” about).
Another good quote is this:
“Or, as discussed during oral argument, Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals,” he wrote, “Not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system.”
Exactly right. This law, if upheld, is an open invitation to the federal government to interfere in every aspect of our lives – it effectively nullifies the last vestiges of the gutted Interstate Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
This is still at the District Court level, so it – like the Virginia case and the two where the judges upheld the law – still has to go through the Circuit Courts before going to the Supreme Court. Still, this means step one is done.
[Source: AP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 1/31/11]