- Number-crunchers put GOP chances of retaking Senate at 60 percent: report
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
- Fla. voters’ support for medical marijuana bodes well for ballot measure: poll
- Keith Urban concert ends in ‘nutso’ chaos, with dozens arrested, injured
- Very religious still lean toward GOP, reflecting long-term patterns, Gallup poll shows
- Fist bump becoming all the rage for germ-wary handshakers
- Tennessee storms ravage counties, wreck 10 homes
- Chinese police tear down church cross in religion crackdown
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: ‘Obama, Obama, where are you?’
- Maine police find wife, husband, 3 children dead in home
Judge voids part of Obamacare
Ruling says law stretches bounds of Constitution
Question of the Day
Judge Hudson is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two other federal judges in Virginia and Michigan, but he and Mr. Cuccinelli agreed that the ruling undoubtedly will be appealed — probably all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“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,” Mr. Cuccinelli said in a statement.
Reaction to the ruling was immediate.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the administration “argued on the other side of this case and disagrees with the ruling.” But he deemed it important to remember that 20 similar court challenges on the health care law are making their way through federal courts and that this decision was the first to go against the administration.
“We are confident that it is constitutional,” he said.
The spokesman said that although he had not conferred with Mr. Obama about the ruling, the elimination of the “individual responsibility portion” would undermine the entire law because only if everyone must participate in the insurance pool can provisions barring discrimination against patients with pre-existing conditions be made workable.
Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the department was “disappointed in today’s ruling” but continues to believe that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional.
“There is clear and well-established legal precedent that Congress acted within its constitutional authority in passing this law and we are confident that we will ultimately prevail,” Ms. Schmaler said.
But Republicans on Capitol Hill, who in January will take over the House and see their numbers rise in the Senate, asserted that the decision vindicates their opposition to the law and their successful campaign this November on a pledge to repeal at least part of the law.
Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican who was personally rebuked by Mr. Obama after he predicted that health care reform would be the president’s “Waterloo,” said the judge’s ruling made it clear that the president and Democrats “overreached and violated the Constitution in their rush to pass a federal takeover of our health care system.”
“The Constitution neither grants Congress nor the president the power to compel every American to buy government-approved health insurance,” he said. “The unconstitutional individual mandate is the centerpiece of the health care takeover and today’s ruling should signal the beginning of the end for Obamacare.”
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, applauded the decision, calling it “a great day for liberty.” He said, “Congress must obey the Constitution rather than make it up as we go along. Liberty requires limits on government, and today those limits have been upheld.”
“If the government can tell you what to buy, then what limits on federal power exist? The $2.6 trillion health law is an astonishing expansion of that power and bursts the limits that the Constitution imposes on the federal government,” said Mr. Hatch, the first senator to publicly argue that the individual insurance mandate was unconstitutional.
Utah is an original plaintiff in another major lawsuit against the Obama health care plan, filed in U.S. District Court in Florida, which now includes 20 states, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and individual citizens.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that while the ruling was likely to be appealed, it was a “clear signal that the constitutionality of the law, which was moved through Congress with a lot of controversy and partisanship, isn’t as certain as its supporters have argued.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Philadelphia mobster sentenced to 11 years as city cleans up crime
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Tennessee storms ravage counties, wreck 10 homes
- Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq