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Posted at 9:30 AM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Vinson, line by line

By Dylan Matthews

There's a lot wrong in Judge Roger Vinson's ruling overturning health-care reform, much of which Ezra's covered in Wonkbook and on the blog. But three fellows at the Center for American Progress – Neera Tanden, who was one of reform's architects in the administration before she left last year, Ian Millhiser and Tony Carrk – found something wrong on basically every page of it. So they put up an interactive version of the ruling, with every problematic sentence highlighted and explained. Even if you're not a legal nerd, it's worth a look.

Dylan Matthews is a student at Harvard and a researcher at The Washington Post.

By Dylan Matthews  | February 3, 2011; 9:30 AM ET
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The Vinson decision is an excellent reminder to those on both sides who are interested in pursuing goals through the legal system.

Judge shopping to find someone friendly to your cause may make things easy for a while, but if your man (or woman) isn't at least modestly competent, it could end embarassingly, or worse, alienating higher judges who might otherwise have given you a chance to win them over.

Posted by: eggnogfool | February 3, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Vinson does really come across like a serious O'Reilly believer here. An incompetent one at that. Some of the errors they highlighted might be forgivable differences in interpretation, but most of them are pretty cut and dry moron-ism.

Posted by: genericOnlineID | February 3, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I started to read this document but stopped after the first comment. I'm a Constitutional lawyer, and have filed a number of amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court. I hoped this critique would address the LAW of Judge Vinson's decision. The first comment dismisses a solid legal statement and makes a political point. I'll go somewhere else to find a constitutional critique of the ruling.

Posted by: SWSomerville | February 3, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, the first comment didn't strike me as a particularly legitimate legal point; more philosophical/semantic than anything else. The rest was better though.

The crux of it all comes on Page 63, where Vinson declares that the Constitution cannot be reconciled with his view of the proper limited role of government, to great comedic effect.

Posted by: eggnogfool | February 3, 2011 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The first highlight is all about how constitutional decisions do not have implications broader than the case. This is retarded.

Posted by: gorak | February 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

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