Florida U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson bluntly told the Department of Justice to get its Obamacare appeal to a higher court in seven days. In effect, he said he wasn’t kidding when he ruled the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) is unconstitutional.
The Department of justice Feb. 20 had asked Judge Vinson in what’s called a “Motion to Clarify” if he really meant what he ruled. DOJ, in an obvious stalling move, asked for more information on the meaning of Vinson’s decision.
Judge Vinson’s 78-page, erudite ruling Jan. 31 gave in detail the legal concepts of the commerce clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the constitutionality of the “individual mandate” to buy insurance and “severability.” He declared that because the mandate was unconstitutional and such a vital element of the whole legislation that it could not be “severed.” So, the whole law was unconstitutional and void.
Judge Vinson’s response to the DOJ March 3 was brusque. “While I believe my order was as clear and unambiguous as it could be,” he wrote. “It is possible that the defendants may have perhaps been confused or misunderstood its import.”
In his 20-page answer to the DOJ, Judge Vinson was critical of the Justice Department lawyers’ delay in waiting almost more than four weeks before filing their motion asking to clarify what was abundantly clear. “The defendants have seemed to have continued to move forward and implement the Act,” Vinson’s ruling was quoted in the Daily Caller.
The Florida judge repeated his finding that Congress had exceeded its authority when it passed the mandate that individuals either had to buy insurance or pay a fine. He again said that the mandate was unseverable from the other sections of the act. Therefore, the entire act was void. He said that his order applied to all provisions of the law.
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