Judge Allows ObamaCare Challenge to Proceed

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Journalist

A federal judge in Florida ruled yesterday that a multi-state challenge to the constitutionality of some aspects of the health care reform law are worthy of further consideration and is allowing the case to move forward.

Newsmax is reporting that Florida Northern District Senior Judge Roger Vinson ruled that two of the six counts addressed in the suit brought by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum can proceed.

One count involves a Medicaid expansion that the states say would run their budgets “off a cliff.” The other concerns the controversial mandate requiring people to buy health insurance, which the suit claims exceeds the federal government’s constitutional authority.

McCollum called the ruling a victory for the American people.

“I was not surprised,” he told Newsmax, “but I was pleased. I thought that we had the best case [and] that we were going to win this. But it’s always nice to hear the result.”

He was also pleased with the Judge’s strong skepticism regarding the government’s case. For instance, at one point in his 65-page order, Vinson wrote that the administration was asking “that I divine hidden and unstated intentions, and despite considerable evidence to the contrary, conclude that Congress really meant to say one thing when it expressly said something else.”

He also charged Justice Department attorneys with making an “Alice in Wonderland” argument in maintaining the government had not overreached its constitutional authority.

“I’d say the tenor [of the order] is that we are dealing with a judge who is very favorably inclined to rule in our favor in the final decision he is going to render in a couple of months,” McCollum said. “We still have to go argue the merits, [but] I believe he signaled to us that he’s really leaning heavily our way, and the Justice Department is really going to have to come up with something to persuade him otherwise.”

The next hearing is set for December 16.

Last week, a Detroit judge threw out another challenge to the law after ruling that the individual mandate was constitutional. A third challenge is scheduled to on trial in Virginia on Monday.

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