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Healthcare ruling may stand on ground

When a federal judge in Florida invalidated the U.S. healthcare overhaul on Monday, he took the rare step of striking down an entire statute based on his finding that a single provision was unconstitutional. If history is any guide, though, such a sweeping decision may have a tough time surviving an appeal.

U.S. Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida ruled that Congress overstepped its authority under the Commerce Clause when it enacted a requirement that nearly all Americans purchase health insurance. Judge Vinson also ruled that because the insurance mandate was “indisputably necessary” to the purpose of the act, the entire law had to be struck down. The Obama administration says it plans to appeal, and with federal district courts now split two-to-two on whether the law is constitutional, the issue is all but certain to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Vinson’s decision turned on the legal principle that allows courts to throw out parts of legislation while keeping others. In contrast to Judge Vinson’s ruling, in several recent major Supreme Court decisions, justices opted to strike down problematic provisions while leaving the larger statutory scheme intact, according to constitutional law experts.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 3:51 am and is filed under Group Health Insurance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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