Federal Judge Says States’ Health Care Suits Can Proceed

Posted by | October 14, 2010 15:36 | Filed under: Top Stories

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson will allow a lawsuit filed by mostly Republican attorneys general from Florida and 19  other states to proceed. TPM has a breakdown on how these suits are framed.

The constitutional challenges to the health care reform law fall generally into two categories. In the first, states claim that their own laws trump the federal law — an argument that legal experts consider to be almost a sure loser. The second argument is that the insurance mandate exceeds the power given to Congress in the Commerce Clause. That argument is less radical than the first, but is rooted in contemporary conservative legal philosophy that courts have occasionally validated in recent years, albeit under limited circumstances.

Vinson, a Reagan appointee, signaled last month he would allow parts of the suits to proceed. Last week, a Michigan judge declared it constitutional to have an individual mandate to require insurance coverage. Here is the breakdown of the latest ruling:

The charges that survive:

That “the individual mandate and concomitant penalty exceed Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause and violate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments”;

and “the Act coerces and commandeers the states with respect to Medicaid by altering and expanding the program in violation of Article I and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.”

Vinson rejected other claims, including the notion that the penalty associated with the mandate is a “direct tax.”

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

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