Virginia U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled today that the coverage mandates in President Barack Obama's signature health care legislation "exceed the constitutional boundaries of congressional power," a potential setback for the new law.
Though the matter is far from settled, and does not necessarily mean that "Obamacare," as many conservative critics call it, will not go forward, pundits from across the political spectrum offered a flurry of reactions to Hudson's ruling (which can be read in full here).
At Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall decried the decision and saw a larger pattern regarding the makeup of the federal bench:
Citing the portion of Hudson's ruling in which the judge decries the congressional authority to impose mandatory coverage, Hot Air's Ed Morrissey stands and applauds:A year ago, no one took seriously the idea that a federal health care mandate was unconstitutional. And the idea that buying health care coverage does not amount to "economic activity" seems preposterous on its face. But the decision that just came down from the federal judgment in Virginia -- that the federal health care mandate is unconstitutional -- is an example that decades of Republicans packing the federal judiciary with activist judges has finally paid off.
One thing everyone seems to agree upon, however, is that this case is heading for the Supreme Court, a place where soon-to-be Majority Leader Eric Cantor likes the chances of upholding Hudson's ruling.Hudson -- perhaps not inadvertently -- just described the progressive agenda in a single sentence, and why the Constitution forbids it.
But Aaron Carroll of the Incidental Economist argues that a Supreme Court final battleground might not be all that final when the dust settles:To ensure an expedited process moving forward, I call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to join Attorney General Cuccinelli in requesting that this case be sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.
Let's say in 2014, that the law is about to go away. There is no reason that we won't see a repeat of the last few months, but in reverse. Every Republican who spun the expiration of the Bush tax breaks as "raising taxes" will have to face Democrats who will spin the loss of PPACA as "they're taking your health insurance away." Imagine the commercials: your subsidies are being taken away; your donut hole rebates are being taken away; your doctors will be paid less; your copays will go up; your kids are going to be kicked off your plan; you will be denied insurance if you get sick; you will now face lifetime limits; your insurance costs are going up because you got sick; your Medicaid is being taken away ...
And so on. It will be very hard to take all that away and remain popular. The American people might not like how the sausage is made, but they do love their pork.
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