Judge rules new health care laws unconstitutional

VA Courthouse

Virginia District Court judge Henry Hudson has ruled the health care law unconstitutional. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A federal judge in Virginia has ruled the health care reform laws unconstitutional. District Judge Henry Hudson ruled that Congress had overstepped its constitutional boundaries, but did not block the law from being enacted. The law wasn’t enjoined as Hudson anticipates appeals up to and including the Supreme Court.

Health care law slapped down in court

A judge of the U.S. District Court in Virginia has ruled the health care law unconstitutional. Several months ago, it was announced that a few state Attorneys General were suing the federal government on the grounds that the health care reform laws weren’t constitutionally valid. Judge Henry Hudson held that the laws, dubbed “Obama Care” though the president didn’t author the laws, were not within constitutional boundaries, according to the New York Times. Judge Hudson found that one of the central tenets of the law, the mandate that most Americans purchase health insurance by 2014, was unconstitutional. However, Hudson did not enjoin the law from being enacted.

Appeal expected

Judge Hudson declined to enjoin the law from being enacted in whole or in part for two reasons. First, the portion of the law that he ruled on doesn’t take effect until 2014. Secondly, Hudson is anticipating an appeal to a higher court. Should the ruling be appealed, and it appears likely it will be, it will first go to the Court of Appeals, though this is likely an issue that will go to the Supreme Court. In his ruling, Hudson offered that since it is likely a “higher court,” will ultimately decide the matter, he wouldn’t issue any injunctions. A deadline of 2014 gives the appeals process enough time to work.

Other suits pending

There were 25 suits filed by state Attorneys General across the nation, according to the Washington Post. Hudson is the third judge to rule on the matter. The other two decisions, in Michigan and another in Virginia, both found in favor of the government. Another suit against the health care reform law is under way in Florida.


New York Times

Washington Post

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