11th Circuit Court Declares Individual Mandate Unconstitutional
And now, the big story of the day… once again, the keystone of ObamaCare is declared unconstitutional.
A federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled Friday that a provision in President Obama’s health care law requiring citizens to buy health insurance is unconstitutional, but the court didn’t strike down the rest of the law.
The decision is a major setback for the White House, which had appealed a ruling by a lower court judge who struck down the entire law in January. But given that another appeals court, in Cincinnati, has upheld the law, it is increasingly clear that the Supreme Court will have the final say.
Since we now have differing rulings from two of the appeals courts, the odds of this getting to SCOTUS are now very good… it’s almost a certainty.
Oh, and one of the three judges declaring the mandate unconstitutional was a Clinton appointee… twice. First time, to the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, then later to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. So much for the partisanship on Obama’s signature achievement.
Jonathan Adler points out the conclusion of the opinion includes this paragraph:
Further, the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional. This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives. We have not found any generally applicable, judicially enforceable limiting principle that would permit us to uphold the mandate without obliterating the boundaries inherent in the system of enumerated congressional powers. “Uniqueness” is not a constitutional principle in any antecedent Supreme Court decision. The individual mandate also finds no refuge in the aggregation doctrine, for decisions to abstain from the purchase of a product or service, whatever their cumulative effect, lack a sufficient nexus to commerce.
To borrow a word, indeed.