Judge in Virginia strikes down federal health care law, citing mandate to purchase health insurance unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal judge declared the Obama administration's health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia's attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two other federal judges in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and others are pending, including one filed by 20 other states in Florida.

Virginia Republican Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli filed a separate lawsuit in defense of a new state law that prohibits the government from forcing state residents to buy health insurance. The key issue was his claim that the federal law's requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional.

"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," Cuccinelli said in a statement after the ruling.

Hudson, a Republican appointed by President George W. Bush, sounded sympathetic to the state's case when he heard oral arguments in October, and the White House expected to lose this round.

Administration officials told reporters last week that a negative ruling would have virtually no impact on the law's implementation, noting that its two major provisions — the coverage mandate and the creation of new insurance markets — don't take effect until 2014.

The central issue in Virginia's lawsuit was whether the federal government has the power under the constitution to impose the insurance requirement. The Justice Department said the mandate is a proper exercise of the government's authority under the Commerce Clause.

Cuccinelli argued that while the government can regulate economic activity that substantially affects interstate commerce, the decision not to buy insurance amounts to economic inactivity that is beyond the government's reach.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



RONALD RIML's picture

Waiting doesn't get Gil an Education

As it doesn't get certain unemployed a job. You have to take a proactive part in learning why the government can levy 'administrative penalties' - you've obviously decided not to. Your problem - not mine.

And you've also positioned yourself as arbiter as to whether or not the University of Chicago may describe one of their employees as a Professor or not. My, my, my; there are many titles you may not have been bequethed with, Gilliam, but I' sure you aptly fill the bill as them. Except presently Law Course Student. We'll leave the rest unsaid.

RONALD RIML's picture

Poor widdle Gil!

Throws a tantrum because we expect him to obtain education on his own like a grown-up.

What's your excuse? Someone say they're gonna meet you "Anytime-Anyplace" by the school-house door, and you're soiling your pants?? Then try a correspondence course - Just put some hard work in, do the home work, research the cases, and write the papers like I had to. I takes work to get ahead - didn't anyone teach you that - ?? Go spend some time with 'Real' Professors.

And yes - The University of Chicago did Consider Barack Obama a Professor in the Law School. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/media

Read it and weep.

"From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School's Senior Lecturers has high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined."

RONALD RIML's picture

It's a 'Penalty"

You should have gone to school, Gil. You'de have learned that there is a fourth 'quasi' branch of Government, with it's own particular scope of law - and legal system - which, are for the most part - 'Rules'

You're familiar with the Executive, Congressional, and Judicial branches of Government. There is for all intents and purposes a fourth - which is the 'Admiistrative.' Look up "Administrative Law" and "Administrative Procedures Act" - either google them or go to wikipedia. Many folks don't have a clue they're out there.

Here's a link: http://www.hg.org/adm.html

That may flesh it out a bit for you. You don't even need a Messiah, though as a Constitutional Law Professor he probably is much more familiar with them than you. They deal with all of the various Federal Agencies.

"Administrative Law integrates several areas of law, which include administrative rules, regulations and procedures for government agencies and bodies; the scope of agency authority, in particular individual privacy; and enforcement powers of agencies. In the United States, access to information about the government is also an integral part of administrative regulations."

You wonder "Where in the Constitution?"

Now why is is that you've never taken any Constitutional Law courses there, Gilliam?. Then you would know the answer and not have to ask these questions.

Seeing how you've got time to hurl epithets at folks, and offer to meet them "Any time, Any place" - Methinks you should simply put that time to good use and take a number of upper level Con Law courses as I did when I was younger. When you've done the work one gets more satisfaction out of the knowledge gained, and understand how government works - and why penalties may be levied.

No - you can't have my old notes.

 's picture


I wonder if being a GOP stooge had anything to do with it. Since 2003, the judge has earned $103,000 from GOP Consulting firm Campaign Solutions, Inc. Campaign Solutions works for Boehner, Bachman, McCain, and a whole bunch of other republiclowns. http://goo.gl/cMAt7

 's picture

this is unconstitutional

its no diffrent then having a law that requires you to only buy a Ford or forcing you to buy a car. you cannot force people to buy something thats sold privately.


I'm not surprised

Lincoln should have let the South go.

I assume the next ruling from this judge will be to declare McCain the winner in 2008. Today would have right for that given that the Scalia Mob pulled off the US's first coup d'etat ten years ago today.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...