Judge Rules Health-Insurance Mandate Unconstitutional

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A federal district judge in Virgina, Bush 43 appointee Henry E. Hudson, has ruled that the provision of health-care reform that requires almost everyone to get health insurance is unconstitutional, as it exceeds the limits of Congress’s power to regulate commerce.

The judge wrote that his survey of case law “yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, not withstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme.”

Hudson did not block the implementation of health-care reform, however, meaning that President Obama’s signature legislative achievement is safe, for now. There will be appeals, and appeals of appeals, and it’ll eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. But the mandate is a vital component of the health-care-reform package. Without it, insurers can’t cover the new, sickly people on their rolls, and everything falls apart.

So what’s the real significance of today’s ruling? For that, we turn to legal and political reactions from around the web.

Hudson did not block the implementation of health-care reform, however, meaning that President Obama’s signature legislative achievement is safe, for now. There will be appeals, and appeals of appeals, and it’ll eventually make its way to the Supreme Court. But the mandate is a vital component of the health-care-reform package. Without it, insurers can’t cover the new, sickly people on their rolls, and everything falls apart.

So what’s the real significance of today’s ruling? For that, we turn to legal and political reactions from around the web.

Igor Volsky, Think Progress:

Steve Benen, Political Animal/Washington Monthly:

Jonathan Cohn, Citizen Cohn/New Republic:

Abe Greenwald, Contentions/Commentary:

Ezra Klein, Washington Post:

John Hinderaker, Powerline:

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo:

Roger Pilon, Cato@Liberty:

Kevin Drum, Mother Jones: