Casting an unmistakable and perhaps permanent pockmark on the face of the Obama administration, a federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a major component of the new health care reform law is unconstitutional.
Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled Monday for the state's claim that the requirement for people to purchase health care exceeds the power of Congress under the Constitution's Commerce Clause or under the General Welfare Clause.
"It is not the effect on individuals that is presently at issue -- it is the authority of Congress to compel anyone to purchase health insurance," wrote Hudson, who was appointed to the federal bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush.
"Every application of Commerce Clause power found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court involved some form of action, transaction or deed placed in motion by an individual or legal entity. The constitutional viability of the minimum essential coverage provision in this case turns on whether or not a person's decision to refuse to purchase health care insurance is such an activity," he wrote.
Hudson's eagerly awaited decision invalidates the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a federal fine. Hudson's decision is the first striking down part of the controversial legislation.
The Obama administration is likely to appeal Monday's ruling to the Richmond-based Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. It is widely expected that no matter the outcome before that court, the case will ultimately go before the Supreme Court, as even Hudson acknowledged.
Constitution: I told you so dude
: Shut up, nobody asked you.
Constitution: Exactly! Thats your problem dude. You swore to uphold me, and the only direction you hold me is down dude!
: Stop calling me dude, I am the President of the United States.
Constitution: You look like just a dude to me.
: I hope Bush got this much disrespect.
Constitution: He didn't dude...W is my homeboy.
: What the "H-E-double hockey sticks-O where's my virgins"?!? He was the poster boy of not "upholding" the constitution.
Constitution: That's pretty true dude...he was definitely more of a cuddler.
I know this is by no means over, but today is a good day.