Judge in 20-state ObamaCare case expresses skepticism over mandate

Ed Morrissey

If the White House hoped for a better outcome from the 20-state lawsuit over ObamaCare in Florida than it got this week from the federal court in Virginia, early observations from the arguments may dash those hopes. The Wall Street Journal reports that Judge Roger Vinson expressed considerable skepticism about the argument from the states that ObamaCare represents an overreach of federal authority by mandating expanded coverage through Medicaid, a program from which Vinson noted states could withdraw, at least legally. However, Vinson called the individual mandate “a great leap” on the notion of economic activity that falls within the Commerce Clause’s parameters:

A federal judge in a 20-state lawsuit against the Obama administration’s health overhaul signaled Thursday he is sympathetic to the plaintiffs’ argument that requiring Americans to carry health insurance violates the Constitution.

But Judge Roger Vinson seemed skeptical of the second plank of the states’ suit: that the law forces states into a costly expansion of their Medicaid insurance programs for the poor. …

Judge Vinson, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, signaled he saw the requirement as unprecedented and a potential imposition on Americans’ individual liberties. The case is one of some two dozen federal lawsuits that are ultimately expected to be decided by the Supreme Court.

“It would be a giant leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is tantamount to activity,” Judge Vinson told the court. … “If they decide that everyone needs to eat broccoli,” then the commerce clause could allow Congress to require everyone to buy a certain quantity of broccoli, the judge said…

The article continues at HotAir.com

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