Federal Judge: Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Health Care Overhaul "must be declared void"


This afternoon, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled that because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, the entire law "must be declared void." However, the judge did not order the federal government to cease implementation of the law. The key passage, from the conclusion: 

For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.

Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications.

Read the complete ruling here

Update: I haven't finished reading the ruling, but the best part so far comes on page 47, when Judge Vinson cites Reason.TV's video on the individual mandate and the Commerce Clause, "Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare."

For example, in the course of defending the Constitutionality of the individual mandate, and responding to the same concerns identified above, often-cited law professor and dean of the University of California Irvine School of Law Erwin Chemerinsky has opined that although "what people choose to eat well might be regarded as a personal liberty" (and thus unregulable), "Congress could use its commerce power to require people to buy cars." See ReasonTV, Wheat, Weed, and Obamacare: How the Commerce Clause Made Congress All-Powerful, August 25, 2010, available at: http://reason.tv/video/show/wheat-weed-and-obamacare-how-t

Here's the video: