“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.”

“Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge Thursday it will expand the government’s powers in dangerous and unintended ways. The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. ‘The act would leave more constitutional damage in its wake than any other statute in our history,’ David Rivkin, an attorney for the states, told Vinson.”

“Today’s hearing in Pensacola built on Monday’s ruling out of Richmond: Judge Roger Vinson is likely to hold the individual mandate unconstitutional. And such a decision would be the most significant development possible at the district court level because the Florida case involved 20 states, with more joining the lawsuit when new governors and attorneys general assume office in January. It is unprecedented for this number of states — again, soon to be a majority — to sue the federal government and it shows the singular and extreme nature of the government’s assertion of raw power here.”

“The federal government claims that forcing people to purchase health insurance regulates economic activity because everyone eventually uses health care in some form. But as Judge Hudson points out, ‘the same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation.’ The same reasoning would give Congress the power to force everyone to purchase a car because everyone eventually uses some form of ‘transportation.'”

“The days of calling the constitutional challenges to the Affordable Care Act ‘frivolous’ and ‘political’ are now officially over. Judge Hudson’s ruling that the individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional is a milestone in the legal process of deciding whether Congress has the power to command every person in the United States to enter into an economic relationship with a private company.”

“Today is a good day for liberty. By striking down the unprecedented requirement that Americans buy health insurance — the ‘individual mandate’ — Judge Henry Hudson vindicated the idea that ours is a government of delegated and enumerated, and thus limited, powers.”

“The decision on the individual mandate handed down today by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in the Eastern District of Virginia makes it clear that Obamacare is on extremely shaky legal ground. That’s fitting, because it’s been on shaky political ground for well over a year now. Today’s decision — possibly joined by others in the weeks ahead — is going to strengthen the already strong perception that this law was ill-advised from the get-go and needs to be repealed to make way for a more sensible, consensus-driven program.”