“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.”

“Today’s decision by Judge Vinson is another stinging defeat for the administration in its defense of Obamacare. Defenders of the health care bill had tried to paint any legal challenge as ‘frivolous.’ When then-Speaker Pelosi was asked by a reporter ‘where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate,’ Pelosi responded incredulously, ‘Are you serious? Are you serious?’ To wit, Judge Vinson offered a serious response, striking down not only the mandate, but the whole of the health care bill.”

“A federal district court judge in Florida ruled today that a key provision in the new health care law is unconstitutional, and that the entire law must be voided.”

“Today’s ruling vindicates the constitutional first principle that ours is a government of delegated, enumerated, and thus limited powers. Like Judge Hudson in the Virginia case, Judge Vinson recognized that the individual mandate represents an unprecedented and improper incursion beyond those powers: the federal government, under the guise of regulating commerce, cannot require that people engage in economic activity.”

“The political sea change marked by the November elections on Tuesday pulled six more states into Florida’s lawsuit challenging the national health care legislation, making it one of the biggest tests of federal authority in the country’s history with 26 states now in line.”

“The judge, however, agreed with Virginia’s attorney general that the necessary-and-proper clause could not prop up an otherwise unconstitutional provision. Virginia argued, and the judge agreed, that the insurance requirement, by regulating inactivity rather than activity, exceeds the limits of the commerce clause.”

“And yet the future of our health care system need not depend at all, as the future of our legal system unfortunately does to a considerable degree, on the whims of Justice Anthony Kennedy. Obamacare is a disaster for a host of reasons of which the individual mandate is only one. The 112th Congress need not wait for the courts to decide the fate of the mandate. For reasons constitutional, economic, and moral, Congress can repeal Obamacare and replace it with real health care reform.”