“Fairly stated, this is the conservative constitutional argument: Health care for all is a good cause. But if, in the name of that noble goal, you construe Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce so broadly as to encompass individual choices that have never previously been thought of as commercial, much less interstate, there would be nothing left of the commerce clause’s restraints on Congress’s power. And then, the argument goes, Congress would be free to impose far more intrusive mandates.”

“The Obama administration attempted to cloak an unprecedented and unsupportable exercise of federal power in the guise of a run-of-the-mill Commerce Clause regulation. When the weakness of that theory was exposed, it retreated to the Necessary and Proper Clause and the taxing power. Judge Vinson’s decisive rejection of all these theories is another significant victory for individual liberty—the ultimate purpose of federalism—and it lays the intellectual groundwork for every decision on the mandate yet to come.”

“The Senate Judiciary Committee held its first-ever hearing on the constitutionality of ObamaCare yesterday, and talk about a barn door closing. After federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down on Monday the entire statute in a suit brought by 26 states, some states are already suspending any efforts to comply with its regulations and mandates.”

“President Obama and his congressional allies want to create the perception that Obamacare is a done deal, and that Republicans need to get over it. But the events of the past week show quite clearly that that’s far from the reality. Since its passage, Obamacare has rested on shaky ground, owing to the heavy-handed tactics used to jam it through Congress against the wishes of a majority of the electorate. But now, after the Florida court decision and the vote in the Senate on repeal, Obamacare is more vulnerable than ever — politically, legally, and operationally.”

“Judge Vinson’s ruling has made it all the more pressing for Congress to come up with alternatives to the 2010 health care law. Abandoning the individual mandate and offering Americans a range of choices modeled after the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan would be a substantial improvement.”

“There will obviously be appeals, and ultimately it will be the Supreme Court that settles the issue. For the time being, however, the federal government cannot enforce the PPACA against any of the 26 states who are parties to this lawsuit, or against the individuals and the National Federation of Independent Business, who are also plaintiffs in this case. Our task will now be to defend Judge Vinson’s excellent decision through the appeals process.”

“Liberal pundits who have consulted liberal law professors about liberals’ great achievement — ObamaCare — are pronouncing the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson to be much to do about nothing. The ruling is. . . um. . . thinking of a case liberals hate. . . um. . . just like Bush v. Gore ! (Except it has nothing to do with the Equal Protection Clause or any other aspect of that case.) It is, we are told, ‘curious,’ ‘odd,’ or ‘unconventional.’
These are complaints, not legal arguments.”

“There are four key components to Judge Vinson’s opinion: (1) a ruling that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s dramatic expansion of Medicaid is not coercive to the states; (2) that the individual mandate exceeds Congressional powers to regulate interstate commerce; (3) that the individual mandate exceeds Congressional prerogatives to enact laws that are “necessary and proper” for executing its delegated powers; (4) that the individual mandate was essential to the functioning of other critical components of PPACA, and therefore the entire law must be overturned.”

“Judge Vinson’s opinion is laced with quotes from Madison, Hamilton, and the Federalist Papers. And because he believes that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s commerce power, is without logical limitation, and far exceeds the existing legal boundaries established by Supreme Court precedent — because, Vinson argues, it cannot be reconciled with a limited government of enumerated powers and would remove all limits on federal power — he declared the Act unconstitutional.”

“The free-rider problem was caused by clumsy government policy. The solution to the problem, therefore, isn’t to add more clumsy government policy on top: it is to fix the original policy. PPACA’s individual mandate is not needed to address the free-rider problem. Furthermore, aspects of the individual mandate have nothing to do with the free-rider problem.”