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Judge Rules Lawsuit Against Healthcare Law Can Proceed

A Florida judge has ruled that states can proceed with a lawsuit seeking to overturn President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law. In his October...
October 19, 2010

A Florida judge has ruled that states can proceed with a lawsuit seeking to overturn President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare reform law. In his October 14 ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said "I have not attempted to determine whether the line between constitutional and extraconstitutional government has been crossed. I am only saying that ... the plaintiffs have at least stated a plausible claim that the line has been crossed." The suit was originally filed in March by mostly Republican state attorneys general from 20 states. Vinson dismissed four of six claims the states brought against the healthcare law.

The White House said the government expects to prevail. "We saw this with the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act - constitutional challenges were brought to all three of these monumental pieces of legislation, and all of those challenges failed," said presidential adviser Stephanie Cutter.

This decision follows by one week another federal court decision that reached the opposite conclusion. Judge George Steeh of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, said the Constitution's Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate "economic decisions" as well as "economic activity," meaning the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is constitutional. He dismissed the challenge brought by the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative Christian legal group, and several Michigan residents.

Click here to read Judge Lets States' Suit Proceed (Insurance Journal 10/14/10)

Click here to read Judge Upholds PPACA's Individual Mandate (National Underwriter 10/8/2010)

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