Friday, August 12, 2011

Florida vs. HHS (11th Circuit Court of Appeals Strikes Down ObamaCare)


This afternoon, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2–1 ruling striking down the individual mandate in a suit brought by 26 state governments, the National Federation of Independent Business, and others. This is the first court of appeals decision striking down the mandate, and creates a circuit split. Also of note, this opinion marks the first time a Democratic-appointee ruled against the law. This is definitely an ominous development for the President's signature accomplishment.

Chances of this case going to the Supreme Court are now 100%. The only question is when.

Here's the relevant conclusion of the opinion:

Further, the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power and is unconstitutional. 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. We have not found any generally applicable, judicially enforceable limiting principle that would permit us to uphold the mandate without obliterating the boundaries inherent in the system of enumerated congressional powers. “Uniqueness” is not a constitutional principle in any antecedent Supreme Court decision. The individual mandate also finds no refuge in the aggregation doctrine, for decisions to abstain from the purchase of a product or service,whatever their cumulative effect,  lack a sufficient  nexus  to commerce.
 Uh oh.

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