11th Circuit, Constitutional Law, Election 2012, Health Care / Medicine, Supreme Court

Breaking: Eleventh Circuit Rules Obamacare’s ‘Individual Mandate’ Is Unconstitutional

Aw crap, there go my approval ratings.

The Eleventh Circuit has declared that Obamacare’s individual health care mandate is unconstitutional. Today’s decision will be lauded as a victory for the 26 states, led by Florida, that challenged the law as unconstitutional.

In a 2-1 decision (and the first in which a judge appointed by a Democrat has voted to strike down the mandate), the Eleventh Circuit stated that Congress does not have the power to require all Americans to buy health insurance. The court also ruled, however, that the rest of the law could remain in effect.

The Eleventh Circuit decision comes in the wake of the Sixth Circuit upholding the individual mandate as constitutional (a ruling joined by Judge Jeffrey Sutton, a George W. Bush appointee). The Sixth Circuit case has already been appealed to the Supreme Court. We have a feeling that this case will also be appealed to the Supreme Court, setting quite the stage for a ruling within the next year or so.

Click here to read the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion, and read on for some more interesting facts about the case….

Politico reports that Michele Bachmann is the first Republican presidential candidate to speak out on the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling, declaring that she “helped to make that argument about the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate.” Not so submissive now, are you, Michele?

Some pertinent quotes from the opinion:

Economic mandates such as the one contained in the Act are so unprecedented, however, that the government has been unable, either in its briefs or at oral argument, to point this Court to Supreme Court precedent that addresses their constitutionality. Nor does our independent review reveal such a precedent….

The fact that Congress has never before exercised this supposed authority is telling. As the Supreme Court has noted, “the utter lack of statutes imposing obligations on the States’ executive (notwithstanding the attractiveness of that course to Congress), suggests an assumed absence of such power.”

Will this bring about the end of hope and change in America? Stay tuned for the next election to find out.

Florida v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services [U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit]
Appeals Court Rules Against Health Law Mandate [New York Times]
Appeals court rules against Obama healthcare law [Reuters]
Health-Law Mandate Ruled Unconstitutional [Wall Street Journal]
Appeals court finds healthcare mandate unconstitutional [Los Angeles Times]

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