Florida Judge Strikes Down ObamacareMelancton Smith • Monday January 31, 2011 3:31 PM PDT •
Today, a U.S. District Court in Florida held that the individual mandate found in the Obamacare law is an unconstitutional use of the Commerce power. Judge Roger Vinson emphasized that this was not a decision on the wisdom of the law, but solely whether Congress has the power to pass it. If we accept the expansive interpretation offered by the Government (that Congress can regulate any activity or inactivity that could possibly impact the national economy), then, as Judge Vinson observed:
Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals, not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system.
Rather than rewrite history, Judge Vinson turned to the background of our Revolution:
It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place. If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce, the enumeration of powers in the Constitution would have been in vain for it would be “difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power,” and we would have a Constitution in name only.
This is the second decision against the individual mandate and is well done. Hats off to Judge Vinson for having the courage to strike down this clearly unconstitutional act.