Meet Judge Roger Vinson, the Man Who Ruled 'Obamacare' Unconstitutional
Twenty-six states were party to the suit, claiming that the insurance mandate violates constitutional law. Because Democrats did not write a severability clause into the health care act, the entire legislation may be challenged by the unconstitutionality of certain provisions.
Andrew Cohen at The Atlantic notes that today's ruling is a lower-court decision that won't determine the ultimate fate of the health care law; the U.S. Supreme Court will likely have the final say.
Still, Vinson's ruling will give people on all sides of the debate much to discuss, so Surge Desk found out more about this conservative Florida judge.
He's a Navy veteran
Vinson graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and served as a lieutenant from 1962 to 1968.
He's a Reagan appointee
After working as an attorney in private practice, Vinson was nominated to the U.S. District Court in Florida by President Reagan in 1983.
He overturned a ban on "The Last Temptation of Christ"
County commissioners in Escambia, Fla. tried to ban Martin Scorcese's controversial film "The Last Temptation of Christ" from area theaters in 1988. Vinson issued an injunction against the ban, saying that "red flags should run up" when government decisions infringe on citizens' rights.
He's been openly skeptical about the health care reform law
During hearings on the health care lawsuit in December, Vinson raised a hypothetical that became a popular refrain for opponents of the health care law. "If they decided that everybody needs to eat broccoli because broccoli is healthy they could mandate that everybody has to buy a certain amount of broccoli each week," he said.
We'll have more on Judge Vinson's decision and the health care repeal as it develops.
More coverage from Surge Desk:
Judge Roger Vinson Heathcare Ruling [Full Text]
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