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Posted at 5:36 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Cuccinelli, McDonnell praise Florida ruling striking down health-care law

By Rosalind S. Helderman
Rosalind S. Helderman

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R) are applauding a ruling by a federal judge in Florida striking down the nation's health care overhaul as unconstitutional.

In a suit filed jointly by 26 states, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled that Congress exceeded its power under the constitution with a provision of the bill that requires individuals to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine. Vinson's ruling is similar to that issued by Judge Henry Hudson in December in a suit filed by Virginia challenging the law.

But Vinson's ruling was broader than Hudson's. Vinson said the entire law must be struck because of the unconstitutional provision. The constitutionality of the law will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and a spokeswoman for the Justice Department said Tuesday that they remain confident the law will be upheld. She noted that in addition to the Virginia and the 26-state Florida cases, there are more than a dozen other lawsuits -- filed by private parties -- working their way through the court system

In a statement, Cuccinelli called the ruling a victory for liberty and constitutional principles. McDonnell said the ruling was "yet another strike" against the federal law. He called on the Justice Department to ask for expedited review by the Supreme Court . Legal experts have said the court would be unlikely to grant a request to hear the case before appellate courts weigh in. The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the Virginia suit in May.

Read the full statements from Cuccinelli and McDonnell after the jump.

Virginia Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R):

I am heartened by the fact that another federal judge has found that the individual mandate forcing citizens to buy private health insurance is unconstitutional. The judge also found that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remainder of the law, so he declared the entire act invalid. Constitutional principles have scored another victory today. Liberty has scored another victory today. I congratulate Florida Attorney General Bondi, former Attorney General McCollum, and the attorneys general and governors who joined the Florida suit, on their victory.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R):
Judge Vinson's ruling is yet another strike against the individual mandate specifically, and the entire federal health care law generally. For the second time in as many months, a federal judge has found that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by mandating that citizens of this nation purchase a commercial product or else face a penalty.
Judge Henry Hudson reached a similar conclusion in his December ruling on the Commonwealth's challenge to the Act. However, Judge Vinson's decision goes one step further. The Judge also ruled that the individual mandate component is not severable from the overall Act in which it is contained, meaning that this one unconstitutional provision renders the entire bill void.
I agree with both Judge Vinson and Judge Hudson that the individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional. However, this matter is far from settled. Today's decision adds to the growing uncertainty surrounding federal health care reform. That uncertainty is leaving states, businesses and individuals unable to properly plan for 2014 and the scheduled implementation of this new law.
For this reason I reiterate my request that the Department of Justice join with the states to request fast tracking the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the final decision regarding its constitutionality will ultimately be determined. All parties involved, no matter where they stand on this measure, should support moving this issue to its final stage, and bringing finality to a complicated matter that will have an impact on every state, employer and citizen of this nation.

By Rosalind S. Helderman  | January 31, 2011; 5:36 PM ET
Categories:  Ken Cuccinelli, Robert F. McDonnell, Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

The organization of patriots that consider it a sacred duty to preserve liberty for their children, grandchildren and posterity are the beginning of the end for activist "Big Mother" cradle to grave Ponzi schemes that break the treasury and mortgage our children's future.

We care about returning to liberty - obedience to the Constitution without sophistry. Those that do not "get with the program," Big Government politicians, will be systematically neutralized each election day. People of all colors and creeds are coming down on the side of freedom.

Many politicians have rationalized that the Commerce Clause and the 16th Amendment give them the authority to make any law that can be associated with "commerce." Even remote two-step thinking: If he does this, then he might do that, rationale. This is usurpation - making unauthorized (and oppressive freedom robbing) laws. Liberty has become dependent on what the meaning of is, is.

To illustrate why this is so, ask a big government politician exactly: What powers are retained by the states and the people? (10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights) - They have no answer. Ask how, if this is a "free country," they can just "take" (the kindest word for it) private property to redistribute?

Posted by: corneliusvansant | January 31, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

And where is the conservative blowhards' bleating over "ACTIVIST JUDGES!!"???? How quickly the tables turn among liars and thieves.

Posted by: Manwolf | January 31, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

I can see hope appearing on the horizon with the decisions made by Judges Vinson and Hudson. Thank God.
We desperately need a health care plan in the US, but one that deals with health care and not so much law. No enforcement armies to be hired and regulate the public.
A real simple plan in my opinion would be to:
1. Expand medicare to include everyone.
raise the medicare paycheck deductions
to pay for it. A lot cheaper than
buying a private policy.
2. Phase out medicaid as medicare will
cover everyone.
3. If some wants more coverage they can buy
a supplemental policy similar to the way
medicare works now.

Posted by: vageorge | January 31, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse

As long as you have waivers for all your political cronies, this is a bad law.

Why all the waivers, Mr. President?

Striking this down is not activism. It's adhering to the Constitution.

Posted by: martel732 | January 31, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Well there goes Social Security. Imagine being forced to buy into a retirement program that cannot be transfered to your benificiaries. Likewise the laws of every state in the union regarding car insurance. Imagine, being forced to pay for car insurance just so you can legally drive. Meanwhile, Republicans want you to pay for the uninsured to go to the emergency room at the premium price you have been paying. This is a war of the big business of health care against the people of the United States. Wake up! You are paying the cost of other people's health care right now. The new health care law goes a long way toward straightening that out. Amend the law, sure. Make it better, absolutely. Rescinding the health care law and particularly removing the requirement to carry insurance is plain dumb. If you don't have insurance, you cannot legally drive. If you work, legally you must pay into Social Security. The argument this court has ruled on is facetious.

Posted by: buddecj | January 31, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the Supreme Court to expedite hearing this case. The uncertainty as to the outcome of this issue is materially damaging the economy, and the longer this decision remains in limbo, the more costly it will be to clean up the mess. This is the most irresponsible act of Congress and a President in our history, let us hope the Supreme Court acts quickly to put us out of their misery.

Posted by: thomas777 | January 31, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Of course they love when conservative judges legislate from the bench....

Bunch of hypocrites.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 1, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Folks should remember the very narrow grounds that both the Florida and Virginia decisions were decided upon. Everything but the individual mandate was determined to be constitutional by both Judges Hudson and Vinson.

It is good the individual mandate was struck down and judges still limit the scope of the commerce clause.

My legal analysis can be found at:
http://northernvirginialawyer.blogspot.com/2011/01/virginia-and-florida-healthcare-rulings.html

Posted by: ppradoslaw | February 1, 2011 12:07 PM | Report abuse

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