The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a., ObamaCare, was ruled unconstitutional today by Florida Judge Roger Vinson. And because the “individual mandate” to purchase health insurance was thrown out, he also wrote in his decision that the entire law must be declared void.
In his decision, Vinson wrote: “While the individual mandate was clearly ‘necessary and essential’ to the act as drafted, it is not ‘necessary and essential’ to health care reform in general.” He continued, “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void.”
This is the second decision in two months to rule ObamaCare unconstitutional. Six weeks ago, Virginia Judge Henry Hudson ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but did not go as far as Vinson in throwing out the entire law.
The federal government will surely seek a stay on the ruling until the US Supreme Court can hear the case and make its decision. Legal scholars anticipate that won’t happen until the fall of 2012 because the cases with decisions so far will have to proceed through the appellate courts this year. Precedent does exist, however, for having the case fast-tracked over the appellate courts and directly to the Supreme Court.