Judge voids part of Obamacare: Ruling says law stretches bounds of Constitution
In a major setback for the Obama administration, a federal judge in Northern Virginia struck down as unconstitutional a key provision of the landmark health care law, saying that forcing all Americans to buy health insurance « exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power. »
« At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — of crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate, » U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson in Alexandria said in a 42-page opinion.
Judge Hudson concluded that Congress lacked the power under the commerce clause « to compel an individual to involuntarily engage in a private commercial transaction, » warning that the « unchecked expansion of congressional power » as suggested by the law « would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. »
« The ruling is extremely positive for anyone who believes in the system of federalism created by our Founding Fathers, » said Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli. « It underscores that our Constitution’s limitations on federal power really do mean something. »
An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that support for the health care legislation is at a new low with 52 percent opposed and 43 percent in favor — down from a high of 48 percent in favor in November 2009.