Just a few days after a federal judge in Virginia found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, Judge Roger Vinson heard similar arguments in a challenge by 20 states against the health care reform law:
Attorneys for 20 states fighting the new federal health care law told a judge Thursday it will expand the government’s powers in dangerous and unintended ways.
The states want U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson to issue a summary judgment throwing out the health care law without a full trial. They argue it violates people’s rights by forcing them to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.
“The act would leave more constitutional damage in its wake than any other statute in our history,” David Rivkin, an attorney for the states, told Vinson.
President Barack Obama’s administration counters that Americans should not have a choice of opting out of the overhaul because everyone requires medical care.
Initial reports are that Vinson views the law in much the same light that he did back in October, that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. Vinson wonder how far the Commerce Clause could stretch if the federal government could mandate every citizen buy health insurance:
In a federal courtroom Thursday, Judge Roger Vinson questioned how far Congress’s authority would go if it can legally require nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance.