Breaking: Federal Judge Rules 20 States May Proceed with Suit Challenging Obamacare

Dave in Texas
Ace of Spades HQ

On two counts, the individual mandate, and the Medicare Medicaid* expansion (an unfunded mandate to the states). Ed Anger (heh) tipped it in the comments.

Florida Northern District Senior Judge Roger Vinson on Thursday ruled that two of those six counts can proceed. Aside from the count targeting the individual insurance requirement, Vinson said a constitutional challenge to the law’s Medicaid expansion — which critics consider an unfunded mandate for states — can also move forward.

Last week a federal judge in Michigan threw out their challenge to the individual mandate, on the grounds that the Commerce Clause means pretty much whatever the hell they want it to mean. Or something like that.

*oops. corrected

Update: Ann Althouse offers an evaluation of the judge’s ruling:

Federal district judge rules that the states’ lawsuit challenging health care reform can go forward.

The claims that survive are based on Congress lacked power under the Commerce Clause and that the act commandeers the states.

ADDED: I’m reading the opinion. Judge Roger Vinson rejects the argument that the individual mandate is actually a tax and therefore that the Anti-Injunction Act is an obstacle to the lawsuit. Key point:

[I]t is inarguably clear that Congress did not intend for the exaction to be regarded as a tax…

Congress didn’t call it a tax and “the defendants are wrong to contend that what Congress called it ‘doesn’t matter.'”

Congress did not state that it was acting under its taxing authority, and, in fact, it treated the penalty differently than traditional taxes.

The failure to call it a tax was especially important because the act was so controversial…

Read more at Althouse

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