According to multiple reports, a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — is unconstitutional.
The ruling by District Judge Henry Hudson says the law “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power” by requiring individuals to purchase health care coverage under the “individual mandate.” It is the first federal ruling against the law.
“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,” Hudson wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I .”
Crucially, however, Hudson refused to issue an injunction preventing the implementation of the law, and ruled that the unconstitutional parts of it could be severed from the whole.
Suit was brought by Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.
“I am gratified we prevailed. This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution,” said Cuccinelli in a statement.
Cuccinelli has made the extraordinary request that the case bypass the regular appellate order and proceed directly to the highest court, arguing that the Obama administration, too, would benefit from a speedy resolution.
You can read the 42-page ruling here.