Daniel has already noted the news that a federal appeals court ruled against the Obama health law’s individual mandate, but would sever the mandate from the rest of the law. In the key section of the decision, Chief Judge Joel Dubina wrote that “this economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives.”
While the development is welcome news for opponents of the mandate, and makes it more likely that the case will make the Supreme Court, this issue is far from over. Just as I suggested that conservatives not panic over the Sixth Circuit ruling that went in the opposite direction in June, it is far too soon for conservative to do any end-zone dancing now, as the Supreme Court is almost certainly going to be the final arbiter on the constitutionality of the mandate.
Still, the decision is a reminder of how much progress conservatives have made, and continue to make, in opposing the Obama health-care law, and on multiple fronts. This decision, combined with the failure of a liberal group in Ohio to block a ballot initiative on rejecting the individual mandate, means that the Obama administration will continue to have its hands full trying to defend its costly and unpopular health-care law.