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Posted at 4:28 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Wisconsin attorney general: "Health care law is dead"

By Greg Sargent

Okay, so here's the next frontier in the war over the Affordable Care Act: Republican state officials around the country who are hostile to the law may now seize on Judge Vinson's decision yesterday to threaten to stop implementing it -- right now.

The office of Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, one of the states suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act, sends over this statement flatly declaring the law "dead" for his state unless it's revived by a higher court, and asserting that this relieves state government of any and all its responsibiilties to implement the law:

"Judge Vinson declared the health care law void and stated in his decision that a declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction. This means that, for Wisconsin, the federal health care law is dead -- unless and until it is revived by an appellate court. Effectively, Wisconsin was relieved of any obligations or duties that were created under terms of the federal health care law. What that means in a practical sense is a discussion I'll have in confidence with Governor Walker, as the State's counsel."

It's unclear what this means in practice; a spokesman for the attorney general declined to detail what this might mean for Wisconsin residents. But it seems likely that other state officials hostile to the law may follow suit. My understanding is news organizations are canvassing state governments around the country to see if they're going to threaten to stop implementing the law in the wake of Vinson's decision. So we'll soon get a better sense of how widespread this will be.

This hints at a new line of criticism Dems can use, should other state governments do as Wisconsin is doing. The Affordable Care Act has already resulted in nearly $40 million in federal grant funding to Wisconsin. Now that the law is "dead," will Wisconsin return the money or rebuff any other federal grant money? Will other state governments declaring the law dead do the same? If so, how much money do they stand to lose? How will this impact their consistuents? It's a pretty worthwhile line of inquiry.

By Greg Sargent  | February 1, 2011; 4:28 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform  
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Comments

If they kill the law then as a U.S. taxpayer you better believe I expect Wisconsin to return the money.

Put up or shut up R's!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 1, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"This hints at a new line of criticism Dems can use, should other state governments do as Wisconsin is doing. The Affordable Care Act has already resulted in nearly $40 million in federal grant funding to Wisconsin. Now that the law is "dead," will Wisconsin return the money or rebuff any other federal grant money? Will other state governments declaring the law dead do the same? If so, how much money do they stand to lose? How will this impact their consistuents? It's a pretty worthwhile line of inquiry."
=======================================

And we must keep in mind that all that money was just plucked off a money tree somewhere. It's free. Why wouldn't states want it?


Posted by: Brigade | February 1, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

IDK but this news coming out of the Middle East sure seems a heck of a lot more important than a bunch of political posturing by a bunch of blow hards.

We're seeing history in the making.

Just sayin'...

But yeah, these AG's wanting to yank away benefits from their states seems a little heartless, especially in this economy.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 1, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

The decision of a Florida district judge has absolutely no legal effect in Wisconsin, and he knows it.

I think all the uninsured people in Wisconsin should drop by his office and tell him their stories. That's something that should -- and does -- matter in Wisconsin.

Posted by: S1VA | February 1, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh! So now, the WI AG is the governor? He's got arrogance aplenty, that is for sure.

Posted by: grosmec | February 1, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

s1va, point taken, but my understanding is it's unclear how you would compel the states to continue implementing if they say they aren't going to

and grosmec I gotta assume the decision was made in consultation with the governor

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 1, 2011 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, sure, I'm going to rely on a politician-attorney general to tell me that a law is "dead." His grandfather probably said the same thing about Social Security, and his father, about Medicare. Such weasels. The legal process is ongoing. Get over it.

Posted by: 4avocats | February 1, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The WA AG doesn't consult with the Governor here; he's of the other party and believes he has an independent mandate. Likely the same in WI.

Posted by: 4avocats | February 1, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

mike: "IDK but this news coming out of the Middle East sure seems a heck of a lot more important than a bunch of political posturing by a bunch of blow hards.

We're seeing history in the making. "

THIS!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 1, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

S1VA and grosmec, you are wrong. The State of Wisconsin is a NAMED PLAINTIFF in the Florida case. Nice try though.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

How many of you know the name of the State where Republican candidates for President must first spend significant time in?

Is it Iowa, New Hampshire, or some other state, and if some other; please name the state?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 1, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Republicans must spend significant time in a state of denial to become a candidate for President.

Posted by: trey | February 1, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The other States joining Florida and Wisconsin in this lawsuit, via their Governors and/or Attorneys General, are: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and (last , but not least, all hail My Dark Lord, Cheney) Wyoming.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Republicans must spend significant time in a state of denial to become a candidate for President.

Posted by: trey | February 1, 2011 5:30 PM |

.....................

Close, but the correct answer is The State Of Israel.

Huckster Bee is there now, and Haley Barbour is going to be there soon, to meet Bibi Natural Yahoo, and kiss his ring.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 1, 2011 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Virginia brought its own lawsuit, and there are at least two other ObamaCare lawsuits out there too.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 1, 2011 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Then there's the part of the law that says states are free to opt out, provided they set up their own system that achieves the same goals. I'm not an attorney but it would seem like to me that the opt-out provision gave the states a pre-emptive means of escaping onerous federal control, which makes you wonder why there would be any need to challenge whether or not the feds can force the states to participate in the federal program. The feds have already said they don't have to participate in the federal program, and it appears to me that once that hurdle is cleared, the whole "doesn't meet the bar for inclusion as interstate commerce" becomes a moot point.

Like I said, I didn't go to law school so I'm sure there's a reason why (legally) a state can argue oppressive federal intervention when they already have an out. Seems like it could be addressed thus: participate in the federal program, set up your own program, or forfeit your state's share of federal Medicaid funding. I mean, if you aren't going to participate, then don't participate at all. If participation isn't coerced by the feds, there's no constitutional issue there at all that I can see.

This would allow these enclaves of brave patriots to also be free of the oppressive burden of federal dollars to prop up their expensive and inefficient existing health care systems, with the free market picking up the true cost of the ER-as-clinic health care system for the poor and indigent, with those costs being underwritten by annual premium increases. I'm sure if the feds just get their filthy lucre out of the way, the free market in these states will sort it all out in short order.

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 1, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

What wingers don't get, as explained by Ezra the other day, is that all this will lead to single payer. If you make the private market more impossible, it will doom it.

Posted by: Alex3 | February 1, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_176.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 1, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

brigade -- "The trouble with democrats is they think money just falls from the sky. Republicans realize that money spent by the government comes off the backs of hard-working Americans." --Bob Dole

Posted by: ducksgirl | February 1, 2011 6:49 PM | Report abuse

That will be $40 million please. Let them eat cake!

Posted by: mjwies11 | February 1, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Let the morons opt out and cut them off.

Posted by: johng1 | February 1, 2011 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Return what money morons. We are broke. Would you like the state of Wisconsin to write a check to china.

Posted by: mmmd | February 1, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare IS dead.

You can't give something away without funding it.

Also, to reform health care you have to address the COST, not just redistribute some care.

Posted by: Benson | February 1, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent,

How many states are opposing Obamacare? 27? Is that right?

And what is your job?

To report the news, or choose sides and pontificate?

Posted by: thinker16 | February 1, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

thinker16 wrote:
Greg Sargent,

And what is your job? To report the news, or choose sides and pontificate?

=====

Seeing that Plum Line is in the Opinion section, I'd say his job is to give his opinion.

Posted by: hitpoints | February 1, 2011 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm ... 248 people in the high risk pool ... in the ENTIRE state of Wisconsin ... are you bleeping kidding me ??? ... talk about a government sponsored fiasco ... send them to my office I'll see them all for free and be done in three days no governmental monstrosity needed ... you guys are bailing out a sinking ship my friends ... this law is floridly unpoular so get some situational awareness please ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | February 1, 2011 11:31 PM | Report abuse

The first step to solving the Health Care "crisis" is to deport the illegals. Twenty million of the oft mentioned "30 million uninsured" are illegals. The whole Obamacare debacle is a sop to the illegals that voted Obama in.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 1, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse

It is not dead nor will it die because thankfully our country fairly elected a President of booth intellect and integrity. Every Repugnican will thump his chest and talk tough but as Americans get past their Faux news funded death panel lies etc. The people themselves will put back the lying Repugnicans were they belong into trailer parks somewhere. The Repugnicans can go on enjoying the bigoted blathering Queens of the idiots Pailin and Bacmann but despite our terrible education system there are still more intelligent Americans than dolts. Obamanos!

Posted by: jbento | February 2, 2011 1:37 AM | Report abuse

The new healthcare law is saving lives and money and helping the states.
Most of all, it's helping the PEOPLE and their children.
Our family would have starved in the 1930s, if it wasn't for the govt work program and other benefits for the PEOPLE installed by the FDR administration.
It's just natural and so interesting that McConnell & Co are against it. Welfare for the rich and for their banks and corporations that's all they are ever for.
Selfish, stingy, uncaring people.
What a shame our elected Republican senators and congressmen and women have come to. They wouldn't even vote for a school measure to help our children. They are sooooo un-nice. What ever happened to helping less fortunate people just because it's the RIGHT thing to do?
Where did it all go wrong?
Sad.

Posted by: 6157 | February 2, 2011 1:55 AM | Report abuse

brigade -- "The trouble with democrats is they think money just falls from the sky. Republicans realize that money spent by the government comes off the backs of hard-working Americans." --Bob Dole

Posted by: ducksgirl"


"Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." -- Dick Cheney

Posted by: akaoddjob | February 2, 2011 2:11 AM | Report abuse

"You can't give something away without funding it."

Medicare, Part D, given away to American senior citizens - EXPLICITLY without funding it - by the Republican Party!

Posted by: akaoddjob | February 2, 2011 2:14 AM | Report abuse

"The first step to solving the Health Care "crisis" is to deport the illegals."

Translated oldno7: "The first step in making the USA like the good 'ol USA of my childhood is by making it once again a safe place to be a true bigot."

Posted by: akaoddjob | February 2, 2011 2:17 AM | Report abuse

("Jes' gimme that old time religion,
Gimme that old time religion,
Gimme that old time religion!
It's good enough fur me!

Jes like it was good enough for Nathan Bedford Forrest!")

Posted by: akaoddjob | February 2, 2011 2:20 AM | Report abuse

From balkinization:

the federal government passed a militia act in 1792 that required that every citizen purchase a weapon and ammunition.

Posted by: scientist1 | February 2, 2011 2:45 AM | Report abuse


It make me sick every time I see Omammy open his lieing black mouth on the TV. I hope he get impeached next for his treason to our country

Posted by: SavedGirl | February 2, 2011 2:56 AM | Report abuse

One reason bigots love the Washington Post is that they know they can post crap like the comment directly above with impunity.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | February 2, 2011 5:00 AM | Report abuse

Hurrah for the Wisconsin AG!

He is absolutely right to challenge whether or not WI should adhere to the 'Making Grandma Shovel-Ready Act of 2010'

As for the comment about the $40M, that is a typical red-herring thrown out by Sargent and the Liberal Scum Diaspora (LSD). WI was forced to take that cash to set up their mandated program. This new Act is expensive to administer - so that money is probably gone.

What hilarious bull. The long-con the DemoDummies conjured up to create a voter dependency, not-so-cleverly-disguised as something 'good' for Americans, is coming to an end.

Get your popcorn ready - the volume of Liberal whining is about to go way up!

Posted by: pararanger22 | February 2, 2011 5:10 AM | Report abuse

Obamacare is dead - the Florida decision killed it in 26 states. The incompetent Democrats, led by Obama, couldn't even craft a health Plan that was Constitutional. This also finishes Obama, and he now has no chance at ter-election.

Posted by: Realist201 | February 2, 2011 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Judge ruling against health law, cites Obama’s own words:

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.’”

Posted by: fury60 | February 2, 2011 5:58 AM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama and Obamacare are the reason the Dims lost 63 seats in the House. Obamacare has been repealed by the House and ruled as unconstituional by the courts, yet you still have leftist WaPo hacks like Greg Sargent pimping for Barry.

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 2, 2011 7:05 AM | Report abuse

In New Jersey, Christie used monies from the new law to renew a popular senior citizens drug program. Will he now declare HCR dead and take the drugs away from the seniors?

Posted by: rhallnj | February 2, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

If Americans thought Bork had strange views, they should look at this activist judge. To show his not taking his oath of impartiality and constistutional interpretation of the law go no further than his statement about the law having no mechanism to declare parts of it unconstitutional, which is his job. Precedent in voiding only that which he found unconstitutinal was thrown out voiding the entire bill, a political decision, not a legal one. Even stopping short of injunction which certainly would be voided immediately in the Appeals court, he is playing games that the GOP is more than willing to play. WI took 40 million from the law, will they return it? Like stimulus the GOP is more than willing to rail against it scoring political points and more than willing to accept the benefits it gives.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 2, 2011 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Have received several emails that purport to show a tax on the homeowner when he/she sells the home. Seems like the tax is 3.8% of the selling price. If this is true, then it makes me wonder just what else is hidden in this health care reform bill.

Posted by: Utahreb | February 2, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse


WI took money from the Fed’s when ObamaCare was LEGAL and the law of the land and shouldn’t have to give it back.

Now ObamaCare has been found to be UNCONSTITUTIONAL (sorry Democrats you OVER REACHED the commerce clause), there should be NO more money from it for WI.

Wow, I feel just like Solomon today.


Posted by: bcarte1 | February 2, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the health care law is dead, but just going through a massive socialist-ectomy.

The Repubs should gut everything but the insurance co new rules, denying etc. The libs would have to could up with s new mantra.

Posted by: Peterjdennis | February 2, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

The GOP and it's activist appointed judges are a study in oxymoronic views. We can't pay for medicaid provisions but are willing to accept the medicaid Fed. money with no relief available. They could a) not participate in medicaid or b) opt out of the health care law establishing their own system with status quo a non-starter (law has gov't takeover of no or inept plans). They could use vouchers for medicaid, open their own insurance pools (non-exclusionary), have the tort reform and their own doctor reimbursement rates. None so far have taken that option. All so far have used the law funding whether pilot programs or senior prescription drug financing. The one major flaw in the health care law is it's failure to fund medicare and make it solvent, which the GOP also has no solution. We keep sending these bums to Washington letting them get elections won by the special interest support which is paid back tenfold, while the people suffer from lower quality of life. The Tea Party solution is to replace the good (Lugar and Snowe) with the insane (Angle and Palladino).

Posted by: jameschirico | February 2, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Republicans in trying to repeal healthcare will end up reopening the healthcare debate and one unavoidable fact will emerge, single payer is really the best solution. The fight will be on and progressives will be able to call nonsense, nonsense with the alleged republican claim that its socialism or we cannot afford it. Both false, it will enable small and large companies to compete in the global markets much better, equal footing in regard to health care being on the same page as most countries we deal with who subsidize or supply public health.*Hopes the following clarifies the founders' intent and any Constitutionality questions.*

In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.

And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind. We cannot afford not to utilize single payer for its the least expensive way to administer health care for every American, taking the obscene profits made by the insurance companies away. The federal government administers medicaid/medicare for 13% not the 40% insurance companies earn. Death panels, like Sarah Palins targets? Please don't start with lies, its the hallmark of conservatives and the myths they perpetuate.

A little history goes along way

thomas mcmahon
millis ma

Posted by: tommic856 | February 2, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse


Court rulings appear to be obligatory for only one side of the political spectrum. Which do you choose? The rule of law or no?

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The fundamental problem with the Health Care law is that it tried to accomodate for profit health insurance with mandatory rules. That is impossible without requiring everybody to purchase insurance and either give the insurance companies a windfall, or regulating the industries profits out of existence. The simple solution is to expand Medicare to cover basic needs for everybody and let for profit companies provide supplemental insurance. If that alternative was offered by the GOP as a replacement to the current law it could be passed instantly. But far be it for the GOP to propose socialist solutions, that would kill all the campaign money from the health insurance industry.
The simple fact is that conservatives as usual are on the wrong side of social progress, they do not accept a concept embraced by most civilized nations, namely that the nation as whole is responsible for the health of its citizens.

Posted by: serban1 | February 2, 2011 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The first step to solving the Health Care "crisis" is to deport the illegals. Twenty million of the oft mentioned "30 million uninsured" are illegals. The whole Obamacare debacle is a sop to the illegals that voted Obama in.

Posted by: oldno7
----------------

That statement is so far beyond truth it's embarrassing. I attempted a conversation with someone like that the other day about health care. I quickly ended it once I realized you cannot debate people that do not adhere to basic facts and reason.

Posted by: booerns14 | February 2, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The aging Tea Bags love their government run, socialist health care, Medicare. They just don't want anybody else to have it. Especially, if they have brown skin.

Tea Bags your time is up and your lies have failed. Better run to the Koch Brothers for more cash!

Posted by: fare777 | February 2, 2011 9:45 AM | Report abuse

All the lemmings here with their health care talking points, fail to address the fact that the government cannot mandate free citizens to pay fines for not doing what the government commands it to do. I'm tired of the government telling the citizens what is best for them. You people could be lead to a cliff and still think your leaders know more than you.

Posted by: whineridentifier | February 2, 2011 9:47 AM | Report abuse

If Americans thought Bork had strange views, they should look at this activist judge. To show his not taking his oath of impartiality and constistutional interpretation of the law go no further than his statement about the law having no mechanism to declare parts of it unconstitutional, which is his job. Precedent in voiding only that which he found unconstitutinal was thrown out voiding the entire bill, a political decision, not a legal one. Even stopping short of injunction which certainly would be voided immediately in the Appeals court, he is playing games that the GOP is more than willing to play. WI took 40 million from the law, will they return it? Like stimulus the GOP is more than willing to rail against it scoring political points and more than willing to accept the benefits it gives.

Posted by: jameschirico
_______________________
sorry james, the opinion has some flaws, but those aren't among them. the severability analysis is the best reasoned part of the whole opinion, and was practically dictated by the feds insisting that the whole bill depended on the mandate, daring the judge to throw it all out - it was an explicit legal strategy. and it's sound in any event. the preexisting condition exclusion ban depends on the mandate.

the judge denied injunctive relief applying a general noncontroversial rule that you needn't enjoin the government itself because it is presumed that the executive will respect the decision as a coequal branch of government.

the weakness in the opinion is the part where the judge dismisses as "supposition on supposition" that the uninsured get sick, go to the ER, don't pay their bill, and the cost gets passed on to the rest of us, and then admits that this is precisely what is happening to the tune of 43 Billion a year.

If you know you will get sick eventually, know perfectly well you will go to the ER, and know perfectly well you will have no way to pay the bill, the argument is that deciding not to buy insurance is a deliberate, conscious, ACT, that immediately affects interstate commerce and puts me at risk for the cost of your care.

not a bulletproof argument, but neither is the counter.

alternatives to the mandate as passed include mandating the states to have individual mandates like MA or lose new federal grants, tax everyone for a catastrophic plan with a credit if you have your own (same result as the current law, but everyone concedes would be constitutional), and others.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 2, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are giddy that two of the four cases that have been decided on the health care law have gone their way. They seem to assume that the battle is over and they have won. The seem to ignore some important realities:
1. Two other cases have also been decided and they did not find the health care bill unconstitutional.
2. Since this sort of case could be filed in any federal circuit court, we can be sure that those chosen had the most conservative lean they could find.
3. And, frankly, the decisions written in the VA and FL cases are just not very strong.

So I think that, as usual, the right-wing is celebrating victory long before they have a right to do so.

Posted by: tunkefer | February 2, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

All the lemmings here with their health care talking points, fail to address the fact that the government cannot mandate free citizens to pay fines for not doing what the government commands it to do. I'm tired of the government telling the citizens what is best for them. You people could be lead to a cliff and still think your leaders know more than you.

Posted by: whineridentifier
_______________________
you must not pay much attention to the tax code. it penalizes citizens for all kinds of choices through increased taxes for certain decisions and credits for others. the deduction for mortgage interest has precisely the same financial impact as a penalty for renting, on a revenue neutral basis.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 2, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"All the lemmings here with their health care talking points, fail to address the fact that the government cannot mandate free citizens to pay fines for not doing what the government commands it to do."

Every time a cop writes a ticket for exceeding the speed limit, the government is issuing a fine to a citizen for not doing what the government commands. Silly.

Posted by: njardine | February 2, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

If Greg Sargent was an honest commentator (in other words, if A = non-A), he would have quoted the pertinent passage in the opinion, which makes it clear that legally, ObamaCare is dead (unless revived by a stay in the District or Appellate court):

http://paulwestcott.com/2011/01/31/full-opinion-from-federal-judge-roger-vinson-on-obamacare/

"The last issue to be resolved is the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief
enjoining implementation of the Act, which can be disposed of very quickly.
Injunctive relief is an 'extraordinary' [Weinberger v. Romero-Barcelo, 456
U.S. 305, 312, 102 S. Ct. 1798, 72 L. Ed. 2d 91 (1982)], and 'drastic' remedy
[Aaron v. S.E.C., 446 U.S. 680, 703, 100 S. Ct. 1945, 64 L. Ed. 2d 611 (1980)
(Burger, J., concurring)]. It is even more so when the party to be enjoined is the
federal government, for there is a long-standing presumption 'that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the
declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.' See Comm. on
Judiciary of U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers, 542 F.3d 909, 911 (D.C. Cir.
2008); accord Sanchez-Espinoza v. Reagan, 770 F.2d 202, 208 n.8 (D.C. Cir.
1985) ('declaratory judgment is, in a context such as this where federal officers
are defendants, the practical equivalent of specific relief such as an injunction . . .
since it must be presumed that federal officers will adhere to the law as declared
by the court') (Scalia, J.) (emphasis added).

There is no reason to conclude that this presumption should not apply here.
Thus, the award of declaratory relief is adequate and separate injunctive relief is
not necessary."

Repeat:
"[T]here is a long-standing presumption 'that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.'"

Get it? The court stated that it issued the practical equivalent of an injunction, and that in consequence, government officials must comply and may not take action inconsistent with its declaratory judgment, i.e., may not take further actions to implement ObamaCare.

Now, if federal officials may not take further action to implement ObamaCare, how can State officials be under any legal obligation to comply with a statute the court declared unconstitutional?

Posted by: kryon77 | February 2, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Opposition to the health care plan is building to a crescendo. It may take a while, but the voice of the people will be heard (probably in November 2012).

Posted by: Chippewa | February 2, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse


The only reason the health care law is not dead is that the left is ignoring the court ruling and the rule of law.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Every time a cop writes a ticket for exceeding the speed limit, the government is issuing a fine to a citizen for not doing what the government commands. Silly."
__________________________________

State law. State fines. It is not a federal issue. The Constitution defines separate areas of responsibility for the states and the federal government.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Cheesehead here. You think returning $40 million to the FedGovt would deter Wisconsin? Whether legally required or not, the money should go back to Washington as a statement of principle.

We have a governor (finally!) who addresses matters in a mature, fiscally responsible, and businesslike way. He had no problem forfeiting the federal money earmarked for a ridiculous passenger train project. Like a BUSINESS would, he assessed the downstream financial impact on the state's residents, and it didn't add up --- not a net benefit to the state.

Wisconsin would have no problem coming up with health care reforms that would be more workable and affordable than the absurd concoction passed in Congress last year. Just get out of the way and out of our wallets, Uncle Sam. Please.

Posted by: TerryOtt | February 2, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, kryon77, but they won't even admit that Wisconsin is a NAMED PLAINTIFF much less the functional equivalence of declaratory and injunctive relief in this context.

For instance, JoeT blurs the line between activity (paying interest on mortgage) and INactivity (not buying "enough" health insurance). He thinks that the federal government can force States to implement individual mandates even though that's prohibited under New York v. U.S. Taxing everyone for a catastrophic plan, with a credit if you have your own, would also be subject to legal challenge.

It's no use trying to reason with them. We just need to work toward electing a GOP Senate and turning Obama out of the White House in 2012. Then we can fix it ourselves.

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The individual mandate is a Republican idea. Why wasn't unconstititional when they proposed it?

Posted by: CLos10 | February 2, 2011 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The individual mandate is a Republican idea. Why wasn't unconstititional when they proposed it?
____________________________________

It has to be passed into law and undergo judicial review for such a thing. Which part originally proposed the idea is moot.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

It was (but at least it included a severability clause and cost containments the Dems refused like a damage award caps for medical malpractice lawsuits ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | February 2, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

All the screaming about unconstitutionality came well before the Act became law and judicial review, and after it was adopted by the Democrats as a compromise to the single-payer. You're right that the courts decide, and the courts are currently split on the issue, notwithstanding this week's decision. The point is that the Republicans are being hypocritical and disingenous with their claims of tyranny, when they are the party that invented the idea of an individual mandate.

Posted by: CLos10 | February 2, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

States have a troubling history of simply disobeying federal laws they disagree with.

Funny how it always seems to be a law that might help the disadvantaged or minorities.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 2, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Repeal of Obama's HC will be a win for everyone. The good things in the new HC involve the extension of benefits to "children" - however, 26 years of age is way too long. Allowing insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions - also good.

Tort reform needs to be addressed, as does purchase across state lines in order to create competition, etc. also.

The waivers included with Obama's plan for certain "groups" and "friends", is an unconscionable aspect which characterize the entire plan.
Starting again, learning what not to do, as in Pelosi /Reid scoundrel politics, should allow both sides to show it is possible to work together without the back room deals and bribes.
If that is happening a la Peloisi, a lot more congress people will be out of work.

Posted by: pjcafe | February 2, 2011 11:15 AM | Report abuse

njardine: "Every time a cop writes a ticket for exceeding the speed limit, the government is issuing a fine to a citizen for not doing what the government commands. Silly."

Let's analyze that statement. Okay with you if the Govt requires you to drive instead of walking or biking along the road to your destination? If you walk, you avoid the tax on gasoline that pays for the roadway. So how about we ticket the walkers and bikers?
Think that would be constitutional?

Or maybe instead of ticketing the walkers and bikers we could simply have them send in an annual payment and in return they'd get a permit to walk or bike along a roadway --- must be prominently displayed on one's backside for easy enforcement.

Seriously: Is there ANY law requiring someone to buy something, simply as a condition of being a law-abiding citizen, or be penalized for not buying it?

Posted by: TerryOtt | February 2, 2011 11:16 AM | Report abuse

If a single lower level federal district judge can overthrow an act of Congress signed by the President then we are facing a judicial tyranny in this nation. When the issue reaches the Supreme Court another sole person, Justice Anthony Kennedy, will presumably decide the case. Something is terribly wrong with this system.

Posted by: mmurray2 | February 2, 2011 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I feel so . . . free! Free to drop my health insurance coverage. Free to pass on my health care expenses to those who keep health insurance. Free to avoid any kind of preventive care. Ain't this freedom a great thing? Aren't we lucky to have conservatives in this country who protect it for us?

Posted by: jlhare1 | February 2, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The first step to solving the Health Care "crisis" is to deport the illegals. Twenty million of the oft mentioned "30 million uninsured" are illegals. The whole Obamacare debacle is a sop to the illegals that voted Obama in.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 1, 2011 11:33 PM | Report abuse"

Really, Einstein? 63 million illegals voted for Obama? You teabaggers are hilarious.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 2, 2011 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The sooner Obamacare goes away, the better. It's aim is laudable, but the execution was corrupt, incompetent, and represented the will of a ruling liberal elite, not the will of the people Those are the facts, like it or not, so it must go. Let's do healthcare correctly, or at least competently, and leave out the Socialism and the self-hating Americanism, which are not the values of the true America(n). We don't need arrogant, extremist liberals like the current leadership, and we don't need low-IQ egomaniacs like Palin. Let's all vote for regular Americans in the next election.

Posted by: jimbeau1 | February 2, 2011 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"It has to be passed into law and undergo judicial review for such a thing. Which part originally proposed the idea is moot.

Posted by: edbyronadams | February 2, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse"

Right, Einstein, I'm sure the issue of constitutionality never came up when the idea was first proposed by Republicans. You teabaggers are hiliarious.

Posted by: Observer691 | February 2, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Like the military draft, an individual mandate to have insurance is simply an acknowledgement that there are certain obligations one must fulfill in order to be a citizen.

Why is it the people most opposed to the mandate always seem to be the ones screaming the loudest about the Constitution and how they love America?

People seem to want the priviledges of citizenship without any of the obligations.

I don't even have to ask where any of these heroes would have stood during the days we were debating the draft.

Shared sacrifice? Not on their watch.

Posted by: MidwaySailor76 | February 2, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

The first step to solving the Health Care "crisis" is to deport the illegals. Twenty million of the oft mentioned "30 million uninsured" are illegals. The whole Obamacare debacle is a sop to the illegals that voted Obama in.

Posted by: oldno7
----------------

That statement is so far beyond truth it's embarrassing. I attempted a conversation with someone like that the other day about health care. I quickly ended it once I realized you cannot debate people that do not adhere to basic facts and reason.

Posted by: booerns14 | February 2, 2011 9:18 AM |
----------------------
booerns14--
Your reaction is clearly from someone who has not visited an emergency room.
Appparently, you don't live in CA or states with similar problems.
CA is paying millions every month for services for illegals.

Emergency rooms overcrowded by illegals who receive free care are costing us all the way to possible bankruptcy. These services are paid for by taxpayers.
This is from first hand knowledge.
and CA is not alone.

It is ignorant to deny but politically incorrect to address this issue.
So, Obama's thought with his HCR was clearly to make all of these millions of illegals legal by way of amnesty. They will continue to be a drain as more show up to take advantage.

It's a fact.

Posted by: pjcafe | February 2, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

mmurray2:
Should we not allow any courts other than the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of legislation?

The problem with that as I see it: Any idiot (someone like me) can file suit challenging the constitutionality of a law I disagree with, as long as it affects me. Frivolous in 99.99% of the potential cases, of course. Maybe, for example, I believe the parking ticket I got is inconsistent with my "constitutionally protected" right to use the street in front of my condo building. You want that case fast-tracked to the US Supreme Court, bypassing all lower courts? Clearly, any judge anywhere can toss out my suit and cite the authority for doing so.

In the case at hand, re: the requirement to buy health insurance, it's not such a open/shut matter as to constitutionality. So, having lower courts consider and rule is, in my opinion, helpful in the overall process. The Supreme Court now will have to evaluate the logic and conclusions reached by lower courts, and address them in its (eventual) decision. AND -- key point -- if aspects of the law are ruled to be unconstitutional, the law CAN be fixed accordingly going forward.

Posted by: TerryOtt | February 2, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

pjcafe,
Do you believe 'illegals' voted our president into office? Do you think for half a second that two thirds of un-insured AMERICANS are not in fact Americans?
I have been in an emergency room in the last two years, more than once. I didn't bother to ask for green cards so I can't speak to your unsubstantiated claim that there are illegal immigrants crowding California hospitals and that they are costing hospitals an arbitrary "millions" a year. Are there illegal immigrants in ER's? Yes, but that's because we live in a country of morals and we don't boot people to the curb because they are brown and don't speak American. Perhaps you should visit a state where some of the 30 million natural born American citizens have no choice but to run out on hospital bills because they are uninsured and underpaid.

Posted by: booerns14 | February 2, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

MidwaySailor76: "Like the military draft, an individual mandate to have insurance is simply an acknowledgement that there are certain obligations one must fulfill in order to be a citizen."

Well, I was drafted (served 5 years) in the late '60s/early '70s. But there were alternatives and strategies to avoid serving. Some of my peers slid by using medical rationale (real or staged), others went into the Peace Corps and other programs (e.g.,National Teachers Corps), others became CO's, and some just headed to Canada. Some got critical skills deferments, some stayed in college/grad school/med school/law school (as I did for a while, to age 23). So there WERE alternatives to actually serving. Having family connections to a key person(s) on the local draft board was a great way to wiggle out, too.

As an aside, I wonder if a draft, absent a declaration of a state of martial law generally, would hold up to a constitutional challenge these days.

There is no military draft anymore. And it was selective at the time and didn't affect everyone. So let's just move beyond that. What ELSE can you think of that requires an action costing the citizen something, just to be law-abiding?

Posted by: TerryOtt | February 2, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

On Wisconsin!, On Wisconsin!,
Champion of the RIGHT.

Posted by: QuineGeology | February 2, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The progressives did not have a problem with federal judges overturning the Arizona's SB 1070. They cheered when a federal judge overturned California's initiative outlawing gay marriage. How come it's unacceptable for a federal judge to overturn Obama Care?

Posted by: ConradCA | February 2, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

rukidding7 says: "If they kill the law then as a U.S. taxpayer you better believe I expect Wisconsin to return the money. Put up or shut up R's!"

That's a real haw-haw.

Obought-out and his band of merry tax cheaters have spent the last two years TAKING money from us, SPENDING our children's and grandchildren's future and RUINING any chance of an economic recovery in the next several years. Now, because the MAJORITY of the AMERICAN PEOPLE have REJECTED his Healthscare Scheme, you want the money back that the governement TOOK from us in the first place, then RE-DISTRIBUTED back, under the notion of "caring for everyone's health and welfare"??

Tell you what, rukidding7 (you stupid liberal twit).... we'll just KEEP that money, and FLUSH Obamacare legislation down the toilet where it belongs. Consider it the beginning of a PAYBACK for funds that were unconstitutionally ABSCONDED from us in the FIRST PLACE.

Posted by: QuineGeology | February 2, 2011 1:10 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still says: "Close, but the correct answer is The State Of Israel. Huckster Bee is there now, and Haley Barbour is going to be there soon, to meet Bibi Natural Yahoo, and kiss his ring."

Tell me, Liam-still.... will Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Barbour be looking to our president, Barack Obought-out, for pointers? Surely Obought-out's extensive experience in kissing the a**es of dictators worldwide - - from Hu Jintao to the king of Saudi Arabia - - would be of invaluable use to the prospective Republican candidates.

Obought-out may even coach them on how to accept bribes and take payoffs from such stellar companies as Goldman Sachs, BP and General Electric.

Finally, they may want to take tips from Obought-out on how to appease the slobbering fools in the media, so that ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times can all refuse to vet Mr. Barbour and Mr. Huckabee, fawn over them, and throw them softball questions - - just like they did with Obought-out.

Posted by: QuineGeology | February 2, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Was the appropriation part of the ObamaCare law or under separate bill?

Posted by: PaulV1 | February 2, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Why would Wisconsin need a federal grant? I thought the premise was the "affordable" care act (LOL) was supposed to save BILLIONs - since according to many "its already working!!". Ironic it would certainly be if we're already starting to swim in cash from this bill. Wisconsin could hardly need a $40M influx to pay for anything - they're RICH now.

Already the bill is creating miracles on earth like its messiah signee. For instance, Sen Reid has pronounced an $4B reclaimed from fraud all due to this gem of legislation. Its astounding! Esp since the $4B was apparently reclaimed months before the Affordable Care Act was passed.

Do you realize what this means???

Using this law, we can actually break the laws of physics (or the speed of light?) and go back in time where this bill is already generating money for us in the past!! Maybe its a time machine??? I don't know. Who does. Whatever it really means, it couldn't mean Wisconsin could possibly need a Federal Grant of borrowed tax dollars because of it. That would be clearly illogical like really any Republican alive.

Posted by: jleibund1 | February 2, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Were the appropriation part of the law ruled unconstitutional or a separate act?

Posted by: PaulV1 | February 2, 2011 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Liam,

Republicans must spend significant time in a state of denial to become a candidate for President.

Posted by: trey | February 1, 2011 5:30 PM |
thats funny trey. but ya know whats even funnier. democrats create a 1500 billion dollar deficit (thats 1.5 trillion to you and me) then say taxing the rich (generating 40 billion) and stopping the wars (generating 150 billion) will solve the problem. that solves exactly 12% of the problem. now, thats denial pal. or i guess you could claim they are so damn dumb they cant do the math. but either way, the R side aint in denial close to the Ds. funny little guy. but doggone you all are destructive in your ignorance. peace.

Posted by: fred1962 | February 2, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

The sooner Obamacare goes away, the better. It's aim is laudable, but the execution was corrupt, incompetent, and represented the will of a ruling liberal elite.......
Posted by: jimbeau1

relax dude. the thing aint takin off the ground. its the spruce goose. regardless of the court cases. regardless of whether its repealed or not. ask anyone who has studied the numbers, knows anything about risk management or healtcare financing/delivery. its a do-do bird. no maybe its a platypus: a mammal that lays egss. its a rube goldbergian contraption that violates math, and laws of hc financing, violates reality. it'll never work. because it cant work. not in the real world. it works in a liberals fantasy land in their minds, where all thier stuff works. and has non unintended consequences. the waivers are an example. the fact they are doing to doc fix kills the costs curve. the cadillac tax revenues are fake; totally. when they come into place, no one will write those plans, they will "fix" them so they dont incur the tax. which means those rveenues dont exist. the thing will cost 3 times what they say and not even half the revenues will be generated. once the true costs come home to roost (if it gets thru the courts and repeal movemet) it'll crash and burn of its own weight. just relax. see, when the whole budget crashes due to current medicare before the meat of obamacare hits, all this talk will be moot. we'll be laughing about obamacare. like: what were we thinking!? things are going to change man. it aint gonna be pretty. but obamacare is already dead. some folks just dont know it yet. thats the faction that thinks 2+2=10. the 2+2=4 folks know it already. peace bro.

Posted by: fred1962 | February 2, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Void means void. What part of this do you not understand? How are you writing about this if you do not understand extremely basic legal terms?

Posted by: gorak | February 8, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

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