Friday, December 17, 2010

A "giant expansion of the Commerce Clause"

From today's Washington Post, a quote that pretty much leaves nothing in doubt as to how Judge Vinson will rule on the minimum coverage provision:

"[I]t would be a great leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is an activity. That would be a giant expansion of the commerce clause."

Turn out the lights, the party's over for the minimum coverage provision, at least in the Northern District of Florida. The administration will thus have to confront the prospect of having lost at the district court level, at least on this issue, in the two highest profile ACA lawsuits.

After Judge Vinson issues his ruling--the timing of which remains unclear--the next really significant ruling is likely to come from the Sixth Circuit in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama. The court is apt to hear oral argument in that case some time this spring, meaning its decision may come in the summer or fall.