“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.”

“Critics contend that Judge Hudson has unduly restricted Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, the principal basis on which the government defends the law. Some also claim that he ignored the ‘necessary and proper’ clause of the Constitution, which allows Congress leeway to choose how to put in place national economic programs. Yet a closer reading shows that Judge Hudson’s analysis could prove irresistible to the Supreme Court and that there is a reasonable chance it will agree that the insurance mandate is invalid.”

“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.”

In light of this week’s good news on the legal front of the war against ObamaCare, Medical Progress Today, a project of the Manhattan Institute, asked a collection of leading health policy experts for their opinions on whether ObamaCare can still stand if the individual mandate is removed.

“Yesterday liberals were crowing that even if the mandate is eventually declared illegal, it’s no big deal because the rest of ObamaCare’s new system would remain intact. Yet they’ve argued for years that the mandate is essential to health reform, because the mandate is at the heart of the regulatory machine. ObamaCare without a mandate would mean individuals wouldn’t have to pay into a system until they were sick, driving up costs even faster and ruining what’s left of health insurance markets.”