“The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled that the health care reform law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance is unconstitutional, a striking blow to the legislation.
The suit was brought by 26 states — nearly all led by Republican governors and attorneys general. The Department of Justice is expected to appeal. The 2-1 ruling marks the first time a judge appointed by a Democrat has voted to strike down the mandate.”
“The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is not so much a set of norms to regulate conduct as an authorization to administrators to produce norms to regulate conduct. Implementation of the Act will require many years and literally thousands of administrative regulations that will determine its substantive content and coverage. Under current law, those regulations will be promulgated through so-called informal rulemaking procedures, which offer very limited opportunities for public input.”
“Liberals are taking a victory lap since a federal appeals court upheld President Obama’s health-care plan last week, but not so fast. This is an idiosyncratic and flawed opinion, and we trust the Supreme Court, however it rules, will hold itself to a higher standard of jurisprudential reasoning.”
“The Sixth Circuit was the first of several appeals courts to rule on the validity of Obamacare’s individual mandate, and conservatives are disappointed about Wednesday’s 2-1 decision upholding the law. They shouldn’t be. A careful reading of the entire 64-page document shows the swing judge may in fact be inviting the U.S. Supreme Court to use the case to finally put the brakes on the seemingly unlimited expansion of federal powers under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.”
“Today’s 2-1 Sixth Circuit ObamaCare decision was an exercise in unwarranted judicial deference, not by the author of the majority opinion, Judge Boyce Martin, who regularly rubberstamps misuses of federal power, but by concurring Judge Jeffrey Sutton, who avoided the logical implications of this ruling and punted the main issue to the Supreme Court. Under a document establishing a government of enumerated and therefore limited powers, the burden is on that government to prove that it has the power to do something, not on the plaintiffs to disprove that power. Never has the Supreme Court ratified the federal power to force someone to buy a product in the marketplace under the guise of regulating commerce.”
“Thus the administration’s position comes to this: What is one unconstitutional law, more or less, among friends? Health care is simply more important than any other issue. And Congress can be trusted to act responsibly, imposing purchase mandates only when they are essential. That’s why Congress can mandate medical insurance but would never require Americans to buy broccoli. The courts have always found such promises constitutionally insufficient.”
“The PPACA repeatedly refers to any IPAB proposal as a ‘legislative proposal’ and speaks of ‘the legislation introduced’ by the IPAB. Each proposal automatically becomes law unless Congress passes — with a three-fifths supermajority required in the Senate — a measure cutting medical spending as much as the IPAB proposal would.
This is a travesty of constitutional lawmaking: An executive branch agency makes laws unless Congress enacts legislation to achieve the executive agency’s aim.”
“In the most important appeal of the Obamacare constitutional saga, today was the best day yet for individual freedom. The government’s lawyer, Neal Katyal, spent most of the hearing on the ropes, with the judicial panel extremely cautious not to extend federal power beyond its present outer limits of regulating economic activity that has a substantial aggregate effect on interstate commerce. As the lawyer representing 26 states against the federal government said, ‘The whole reason we do this is to protect liberty.’ With those words, former solicitor general Paul Clement reached the essence of the Obamacare lawsuits.”
“Three federal appeals judges expressed unease with a requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or face penalties, as they repeatedly raised questions about President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
At a Wednesday hearing, the three judges on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals panel in Atlanta questioned whether upholding the landmark law could open the door to Congress adopting other sweeping economic mandates.”
“The constitutional battle over ObamaCare has largely focused on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Namely, does forcing individuals to buy health insurance violate the commerce clause? But as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear Florida v. United States, a second issue is of equal importance: Was District Court Judge Roger Vinson correct to rule that the federal government can force states to expand their Medicaid programs as a precondition for continuing to receive matching federal funds for the program?”