Monday, December 13, 2010

1501(b) ruled unconstitutional

Judge Hudson, unsurprisingly, held that the minimum coverage provision is unconstitutional. Details coming.

UPDATE: The opinion is here.

UPDATE 2: Critical line: "Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market." (Op. at 24)

UPDATE 3: Because Congress clearly intended the minimum coverage provision to be a regulation, accompanied by a sanction for violating that regulation, it cannot be justified under the General Welfare Clause as a valid exercise of Congress's taxing power.

UPDATE 4: The court will sever only 1501 "and any directly-dependent provisions which make specific reference to 1501." The rest of the ACA is constitutional.

UPDATE 5: No injunction, because there are no exigencies. Declaratory relief is sufficient, as the ruling does not affect anything set to go into effect until 2013 at the earliest.