This is certainly an important ruling and a “win” for our pal Ken Cuccinelli.
A federal judge struck down the Obama administration’s health reform law Monday, moving reform’s most significant challenge one step closer to its likely destination: the Supreme Court.
In a highly-anticipated suit brought by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, District Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional as it “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”
Hudson stopped short of blocking the law’s implementation until a higher court acts, but said he expects the administration to honor his ruling.
Before we get too excited about this ruling, though — as Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, pointed out, “While Virginia case is important and has drawn strong media interest, it is no more important than the many other rulings by judges of equal rank who have determined that the law is constitutional or have issued dismissals on procedural grounds.” And, of course, this case will eventually make its way to the Supreme Court, where I’m confident that fine justices like Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and…uh oh, is this law in trouble or what?
P.S. Also keep in mind that Hudson was appointed to the bench by George W. Bush. In contrast, a judge appointed by Bill Clinton “rejected the argument by plaintiffs around the country that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not empower Congress to require Americans to buy a commercial product like health insurance.”
UPDATE: Politically, this is a big victory for Ken Cuccinelli no matter how you look at it. Clearly, Cooch wants to be the hero of the conservative movement in this country. If Judge Hudson had slapped down Cooch’s lawsuit, that would certainly not have been helpful to Cooch’s ambitions. With this ruling, however, Cooch can stay on the talk show circuit and in the news (well, Fox at least – lol) for the indefinite future.
UPDATE #2: Oh, by the way, thanks once again (not!) to everyone in the Virginia General Assembly – overwhelmingly Republicans, but a few Democrats (most prominently Ward Armstrong, who I will never support for anything ever again after that vote!) as well – who voted for Bob Marshall’s “Healthcare Freedom Act”.
UPDATE #3: Here is the ruling.
UPDATE #4: Cooch’s victory email is on the “flip.”
Dear Defender of Liberty,
Today, a federal judge in Richmond ruled the individual mandate of the federal health care law UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
In other words – we won!
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.
I am still fully digesting the court’s ruling, so I’ll get back to you again later with more details, but I wanted you to hear the good news right away.
Thank so many of you for your support to become the Attorney General of Virginia, and your support since then. Today is a day to celebrate those same first principles that our founding fathers articulated over 200 years ago.
We are proud to defend their work and the same first principles today in the 21st century.
Stay tuned – and thank you for your support.