With lawsuits against Obamacare currently winding their way through the courts, there is no question the “law” will eventually arrive before the U.S. Supreme Court. In the meantime, however, a federal judge in Florida recently (and quite colorfully) questioned the constitutionality of Obamacare as he ruled that the state’s pending lawsuit can go to trial.
According to The Washington Times:
A federal court judge in Florida ruled...that key portions of a lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s health care reform law can go forward, and accused the Justice Department of taking an “Alice-in-Wonderland” approach to its defense of the controversial “penalty” for people who don’t buy insurance.
Though it’s just a preliminary ruling, Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s decision to let the case proceed is a victory for opponents of the law, since it means he will ultimately decide the merits of the challenge brought by 20 states.
Judge Vinson said the states can challenge the constitutionality of whether provisions in the law violate state sovereignty through expansion of the Medicaid program and if Congress exceeded its authority by forcing people to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
Judge Vinson’s “Alice in Wonderland” comparison relates specifically to some clever word-smithing on the part of Democrats when they rammed Obamacare through Congress.
Opponents of Obamacare argued that the penalties associated with the “health care mandate” really represented a massive tax increase on the middle class. Liberals scoffed at the notion, arguing that the “health care mandate” would result in “penalties,” not taxes. Judge Vinson saw right through this argument in his ruling:
Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an “Alice-in-Wonderland” tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check.
Judge Vinson’s decision shows that Obamacare is not only a constitutional issue, but also a corruption issue.
As the Times piece points out, this is a preliminary ruling, but it certainly demonstrates that Judge Vinson has some significant concerns regarding the constitutionality of Obamacare, as do most Americans across the country.
The article notes that there are at least 20 states suing over Obamacare, and they include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington. As key components of the law come into effect over the next few years, we can expect more legal challenges.
In May Judicial Watch held an educational panel that asked the question, “Is Obamacare Unconstitutional?” Here’s a quick excerpt from comments by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), one of our panelists, on the issue of a health care mandate:
Consider for a moment the 1994 debate about Hillarycare, which never did pass the Congress of the United States. The Congressional Budget Office said that an individual mandate was an unprecedented form of federal action, and that Congress has never forced people to buy any good or service as a condition of law for residents of the United States. That is exactly the constitutional issue on the individual mandate the courts are going to be called upon to decide.
In addition to monitoring the constitutional challenges, we are investigating the implementation of the Obamacare system by Big Government bureaucrats at HHS and at other government agencies.