The Obama administration’s requirement that most citizens maintain minimum health coverage as part of a broad overhaul of the industry is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled, striking down the linchpin of the plan.
The ruling is the government’s first loss in a series of challenges to the law mounted in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida, where 20 states have joined an effort to have the statute thrown out. Constitutional scholars said unless Congress changes the law, its fate on appeal will probably hinge on the views of the U.S. Supreme Court’s more conservative members.
“I am gratified we prevailed,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said in a statement. “This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.”
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From a statement by incoming House majority whip Eric Cantor (R., Va.):
“Today’s ruling is a clear affirmation that President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The efforts of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli have raised legitimate concerns and ensured that the people of the Commonwealth will have their rights protected against this unconstitutional law. Ultimately, we must ensure that no American will be forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford.Cantor also promised to pass “a clean repeal of ObamaCare” once the Republicans take over the House in January.
“To ensure an expedited process moving forward, I call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to join Attorney General Cuccinelli in requesting that this case be sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.
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