What editorial writers are saying about Judge Vinson's health reform ruling

A federal judge in Florida ruled that the health system reform law is unconstitutional, saying Congress surpassed its authority by requiring an insurance mandate.

Posted Feb. 14, 2011.

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The Jan. 31 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla., is the second ruling against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But on Feb. 3, a federal judge in Mississippi dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

The constitutional moment

Unlike Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, who also found ObamaCare to be unconstitutional, Judge Vinson addresses the administration's fallback argument that the Constitution's Necessary and Proper Clause justifies the law even if the Commerce Clause doesn't. He writes that this clause "is not an independent source of federal power" and "would vitiate the enumerated powers principle." In other words, the clause can't justify inherently unconstitutional actions. The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 1

Judge's health care ruling smacks of judicial activism

Step aside, Sarah Palin. The Tea Party has a new darling: Florida federal Judge Roger Vinson. His ruling [on Jan. 31] throwing out the whole health care law is the ultimate in judicial activism, which conservatives claim to decry. San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Feb. 1

Justice Kennedy could decide fate of health reform

The sooner this reaches the Supreme Court, the better. Individuals, businesses, doctors and hospitals, health suppliers, and state and local governments need certainty. If the law is constitutional, they need to know. If it's not, then everybody has to come back to the table and forge another solution for assuring affordable, accessible health coverage without shifting costs. The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, Feb. 2

Court should end health reform uncertainty

There is too much in the law that's too important to toss away. It protects people from being canceled by insurance companies when they get sick. It reduces the federal deficit. It improves the fiscal health of Medicare. It provides health insurance to millions of Americans who have gone without it for too long. Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Feb. 2

Fast track to high court

There's a fair constitutional question here -- can the federal government use the force of law to require Americans to buy insurance from private companies? So far, federal judges don't agree on the answer. Neither do the American people. Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Feb. 2

Judicial activism on health reform

There are principled arguments on both sides, and the issue will likely be decided by the Supreme Court. We hope the court upholds the individual mandate. But if it rules the mandate unconstitutional, we urge the justices to show modesty and leave the rest of the law intact. The New York Times, Feb. 1

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