Federal judge denies Holder request to dismiss Obamacare constitutionality challenge UPDATE: Cuccinelli reacts 

Judge Henry Hudson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia today denied the motion by the U.S. Department of Justice that Virginia’s challenge of the constitutionality of Obamacare be dismissed.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the challenge shortly after Congress completed action on the controversial measure that includes a provision requiring every American to purchase a government-approved health insurance program. Cuccinelli and a host of other constitutional lawyers, state attorneys general, law professors, and conservative political analysts claim the mandate exceeds the federal government’s authority under the Commerce clause of the Constitution.

You can read the full text of Hudson’s 32-page decision here, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.

No comment has been released as yet by Cuccinelli, but Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell lauded Cuccinelli and the decision:

“Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has brought forward a specific and narrowly tailored objection to the Act. It warrants a full and thorough hearing in our courts. It is meritorious and constitutionally correct. The requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance or face a penalty is not permitted under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. It would also violate Virginia’s Health Care Freedom Act, which was passed by a bipartisan majority of the Commonwealth’s democratically elected representatives and I signed into law this spring.”

During a conference call with journalists, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius minimized the significance of the ruling, saying “that just means there will be a full hearing on the arguments. We remain confident that the case is solid and there is full constitutional backing for the passing of the Affordable Care Act,” she said.

Obamacare advocates are jumping to the measure’s defense, claiming the dismissal motion rejection is nothing more than a minor blip on the road to full implementation of the program.

Ron Pollack, executive director of the union-backed Families USA advocacy group, said “today’s decision by the District Court to deny the government’s Motion to Dismiss Virginia’s challenge to the Affordable Care Act has no effect on the validity of the health reform law. The arguments raised today were merely procedural – whether or not Virginia even had the right to challenge the law. The case now moves to another stage, in which the court will evaluate the constitutionality of the law itself.”

UPDATE: Can Obamacare simultaneously ’save’ Medicare and cover 30 million new patients?

Sebellius made some other interesting claims during that morning conference call with journalists. Among those participating was The American Spectator’s Phillip Klein, who asked some pertinent questions and believes the HHS major domo didn’t quite tell the truth in her response. Check it out here.

UPDATE II: Cuccinelli sees hint in judge’s decision

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sees significance in an observation by Judge Hudson, noting that “the Court recognized that the federal health care law and its associated penalty were literally unprecedented,” Cuccinelli said.

“Specifically, the Court wrote that ‘[n]o reported case from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce.’”

The Virginia AG added that “this lawsuit is not about health care, it’s about our freedom and about standing up and calling on the federal government to follow the ultimate law of the land – the Constitution.”

For that reason, he said, “the government cannot draft an unwilling citizen into commerce just so it can regulate him under the Commerce Clause.”

A summary judgment hearing is scheduled for October 18.

About The Author

Mark Tapscott

Pin It
Favorite

More by Mark Tapscott

Latest in Nation

© 2018 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation