January 31st, 2011

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional–for now

Every time these rulings come down, I refuse to get too excited one way or another, because the only ruling that will end up mattering is the one that will one day almost inevitably be issued by SCOTUS—in other words, what will Justice Kennedy think?

But it is still big news that US District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida has struck down the individual mandate as being unconstitutional, and because there is no severability clause he has extended that ruling to the entire HCR act itself.

As Ezra Klein and several others take pains to inform us, Vinson is a Republican-appointed judge. Rhetorical question: do you think that when liberal rulings come down, those same people are equally eager to lead with the fact that the judges in question are Democrat-appointed?

And then there’s noted constitutional scholar Nancy Pelosi, back in October of 2009:

34 Responses to “Obamacare ruled unconstitutional–for now”

  1. Occam's Beard Says:

    …do you think that when liberal rulings come down, those same people would be equally eager to lead with the fact that the judges in question are Democrat-appointed?

    Nah, but I don’t fault them for that. I do the same thing, with opposite polarity, of course.

  2. Occam's Beard Says:

    The point is that delay works against Obamacare. Every day it’s tied up in the courts cuts the chances of it ever seeing the light of day. And, of course, a year from now we’ll be entering the campaign season.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    As some wag said months ago about all this: “Why don’t we just ask Justice Kennedy what he thinks and get it over with?”

  4. Baklava Says:


    he he

  5. Parker Says:

    Obviously, this will end up at the Supreme Court. IMO it will be deemed unconstitutional by a 5-4 decision.

  6. Baklava Says:

    The 4 are not interested in constitutionality

  7. Tom Says:

    It is so painfully obviously unconstitutional that even Baraq knew it in ’08—see Baklava’s link (thanks, B!).

    The nation hangs by the thinnest of threads….Justice Kennedy.
    An 8-1 SCOTUS ruling would do more than just about anything else I can think of to turn the nation in the right direction. *Sigh* Ain’t gonna happen.

  8. Parker Says:

    The recent decision on the Washington DC gun ban which resulted in the 5-4 majority ruling that the 2nd acknowledges a right retained by the individual should have been 9-0. Alas, we have a Supreme Court with too many members who believe the Constitution of the United States means what they wish it to mean, not what it was intended to mean. And its not just today’s court. This has been a problem for quiet some time.

  9. Scott Says:

    Apparently, the Supreme Court has a rule that permits a court of huge national importance to bypass the Court of Appeals process and go directly to the Supremes for resolution. In last night’s show, Greta Van Sustern was making the case that both sides should agree to take the expedited route to the Supremes to settle the constitutionality question once and for all. In her view, (and the several state attorney generals who are part of the Florida case) the thing could be resolved by the Supremes in about 60 days.

    I will take the other side of Occam’s argument. I think it is in the interest of Obama, who controls the Justice Department, to stall as long as it can for three reasons:

    1) If they don’t bypass the Court of Appeals it could take 2-3 years to get to the Supreme Court. If Obama get’s re-elected in 2012, Obamacare goes into full effect in 2014. At that point, repeal is likely dead.

    2) The longer they drag it out, the probabilty rises slightly that one of the conservative justices drops dead or retires. Obama can then appoint a liberal justice who will side with the liberal wing of the court and declare it constitutional.

    3) There are some Obamacare provisions that are already going into effect, and as people become dependent on those provisions, the government can use propoganda to try to change perceptions. After Obama unveiled his new re-election slogan at the SOTU, “Winning the Future”, Kathleen Sebilius wasted no time writing an article saying Obamacare is how we will “Win the Future”.

  10. Bob from Virginia Says:

    I would like to remind people that even if it is found constitutional that it is up to the people to obey or not obey laws. We can undermine this this monstrosity regardless of the court ruling. Indeed it is our duty.

  11. Mr. Frank Says:

    Aetna just announced it is dropping individual health coverage in Colorado. Obama’s plan to push people to government health care is working.

  12. suek Says:

    Fuel for the fire:


  13. uncleFred Says:

    Scott suggested that Obama would view it in his interest to stall expediting this to the SCOTUS.

    The ruling in Florida stops implementation. Period. The ruling that it is unconstitutional binds the defendant from proceeding. The feds need a stay to continue implementation. It is inconsistent with a request for a stay, to attempt to prevent speedy resolution.

    The feds have a problem, and all the posturing won’t make it go away.

  14. Brad Says:

    I really don’t see why people are complaining about what the Federal government is doing in relation to healthcare. After all, even if this provision is repealed you might end up with something worse (or better, depending on viewpoint):

    But that’s because the wrong arguments are being made anyway.

    Regardless, your government is in some ways already not bound to the constitution anymore:


    Now, I have to say I support Judge Clarence Thoma’s concerns 100 percent. yet, the result was the result. Along with never taking the 10th Amendment seriously since pretty much the founding, the SCOTUS over the past 65 years whether dominated by Republicans or Democrats has just used different unconstitutional methods to get the results it wants. And I’m sure at least some here cheer when these results match up with your preferred policies. But I don’t: I weep. And this is why we no longer operate the US Constitution. About the only good thing about arguments such as these as they keep the ideas and ideals in that document alive, and hopefully will what still be kept when a new government in these United States is established.

  15. Occam's Beard Says:

    your government

    You took umbrage at my pointing out your non-American usage of a plural verb with a collective noun, i.e., the usage of other parts of the Anglosphere, and disingenuously characterized that as a grammatical snark.

    Now after two references to “your country” in talking to Americans, as well as employing non-American syntax, I want to know: of what country are you a citizen? It bears on the interpretation of your comments.

    And don’t say “the U.S.,” because that’s self-evidently not true.

  16. Brad Says:


    If you can’t see the logical fallacy of applying MLA style correct grammatical style grammar structures in order to try to extract nationality from internet postings, then you are not as intelligent as I thought, and I’m obviously not missing anything by ignoring you.
    For one, I’ve been on the net since 1996, and I’ve been to plenty of British websites, as well as a few Canadian ones. Obviously, that might have SOME effect on my writing. For two, grammar was easily my least favorite subject in language arts. As for where I am from, Baltimore, Maryland.

    Now that I’ve satisfied your curiosity and given in just a little bit to your trolling, you can be happy and I can go back to ignoring you. Quite honestly, you are an embarrassment of a commenter.

  17. Occam's Beard Says:

    As for where I am from, Baltimore, Maryland.


  18. Brad Says:

    Oh and you’ve never run into people from the US chiding others about “their” government before? Indeed, I can probably find some political speeches where the politician talks about “Your” government to those he is addressing: As in Kennedy: “Ask not what YOUR country can do for you…”

    Really, Quite spanked.

  19. Occam's Beard Says:

    Explain your repeated references to “your country” and “your government” in talking to Americans.

  20. Occam's Beard Says:


  21. Occam's Beard Says:

    Attaboy, keep twisting and turning. Non-American syntax, and referring to American institutions as the other. Sure, you’re an American.


  22. Brad Says:

    I just don’t like MY government very much. What’s so hard to understand about that. I also find this sites premise that our biggest threat is guys with towels on their heads when “our” unconstitutional incompetent government can’t handle its own economy and people to be laughable. The only thing “they” have that we want in the ME is oil, and so long as that flows and Israel still has its nukes, I’d rather waste my worries and money on things a bit closer to home. Like our imploding economy and middle class. Guess that makes me a traitor, but I’m with Merle Haggard: Let’s Put America First.

  23. Occam's Beard Says:

    Nice try.

  24. Brad Says:

    Btw: I’m sure Neo, if she really wants to, could check my IP address. This is ridiculous.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: I don’t know why you say that is this site’s premise.

    It is not. I am very concerned with both external and internal threats to liberty. Why else would I have written 184 posts (so far) on HCR, and 666 (so far) on Obama? Note, also, 96 (so far) on liberty.

  26. Occam's Beard Says:

    IP address != citizenship.

    I don’t doubt that you’re in Baltimore now.

    I very much doubt that you were born there. Or anywhere in the U.S.

  27. neo-neocon Says:

    Actually, I do request that you both stop this particular argument now. See this, please.

  28. Occam's Beard Says:

    Neo, OK, but I think citizenship is relevant in discussing domestic issues. Trying to promote heresy in a church to which you don’t belong is really reprehensible. Comments from foreigners are fair enough, but intellectual honesty demands disclosure of that status, IMO.

    And with that, I’ll leave it. Sorry, neo, for the hassle.

  29. Brad Says:

    Thank you, Neo.

    I have a US passport, but even if I uploaded it and thus exposed myself to all sorts of harassment in my personal life, I’m sure OB would say its fake. Ultimately, there’s no way to prove ones citizenship over the internet, but for the record I’m a born and bred citizen of the good ol’ USA.

    As for misunderstanding what your site is about, I apologize. But your name seems to indicate you care about foreign policy first and foremost and you seem to agree with other neo-cons like Victor Davis Hanson, so I just assumed that foreign policy was first and foremost with you.

  30. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: Here’s some information about why I chose “neo-neocon.”

    But I might add that it was chosen rather quickly and rather frivolously, in that when I set up this blog I never expected to write much of anything in it. Here is the story.

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Brad: one other thing. Remember that I began the blog when Iraq was the biggest news story of all. But my real impetus for starting the blog had to do with my strong interest in the phenomenon of political change in all its manifestations.

  32. Parker Says:

    NeoNeocon, this is your blog and as far as I’m concerned you are in control so please excuse my butting in here…

    Occam & Brad:

    I’m 1/4 native American on the maternal side of my family so some of my ancestors have been here for around 30,000 years. The rest of the maternal side of my family are a mongrel mix of French Canadians and Kentucky born and bred hillbillies. Paternally, my ancestors first fled Scotland for Ireland, and then fled Ireland for the “colonies” circa 1740. I am a native son as much as anyone is and proud of it!

    I don’t give the south end of a north bound horse where either of you are from originally. I don’t care if either of you are recent immigrants (as long as you came here legally). I don’t care if either of you use correct grammar as many of my many cousins don’t use correct grammar. All I expect of anyone who lives on American soil is that you are loyal to the principals of individual liberty.

    Now, pardon me as I step down off the soap box.

  33. Indigo Red Says:

    At the moment. ObamaCare is unconstitutional and is effectively dead. The Administration can ask a higher court for a stay which will delay both the implementation and the program’s demise. The request for stay may be denied, in which case ObamaCare is still dead. If the current decision is appealed to a higher court, the decision may be overturned and then go to SCOTUS where it is likely to fail in a 5-4 vote; if upheld, ObamaCare is dead. If both sides request a fast track to the SCOTUS, ObamaCare will likely fail again at 5-4 and still be dead.

  34. neo-neocon Says:

    Indigo Red: are you that certain of Kennedy’s opinion on the subject?

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