Friday, August 12, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Eleventh Circuit invalidates minimum coverage provision

You can find the 305-page opinion here.

Here is a very short summary:

* The ACA's Medicaid expansion provisions are not unconstitutionally coercive, and thus are valid spending conditions.

* The minimum coverage provision exceeds Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce.

* The minimum coverage provision is not a valid exercise of the tax power.

* The minimum coverage provision can be severed from the rest of the ACA, so only the individual mandate itself (and nothing else) is invalidated.

* Judge Marcus dissented on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, meaning that two judges "crossed party lines," so to speak: Marcus to uphold the mandate and Judge Hull to invalidate it.

This means, of course, that we are on our way to the Supreme Court -- and that the existence of this split makes it much more likely the Court will grant the pending petition in Thomas More Law Center.

I have personal commitments that we keep me away from my office most of the day, but I will try to have some analysis by late this evening.