As expected, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson has ruled that ObamaCare is an unconstitutional violation of the Commerce Clause, which the Obama Administration was arguing gave them the power to enforce the individual mandate, in what is the clearest legal rebuke of the new health care reform law:
A federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the nation’s sweeping health-care overhaul is unconstitutional, the most significant legal setback so far for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson found that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.
In a 42-page opinion, Hudson said the provision of the law that requires most individuals to get insurance or pay a fine by 2014 is an unprecedented expansion of federal power that cannot be supported by Congress’s power to regulate interstate trade.
“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market,” he wrote. “In doing so, enactment of the [individual mandate] exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I [of the Constitution.]
We’ll have more reaction to the decision posted later today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, you can read his opinion below: