Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by federal judge in Florida (exact wording linked)

Federal District Court Judge for the Northern District of Florida Roger Vinson rules Obamacare is unconstitutional and in favor of the 26 states that sued to block it.  Our great new Attorney General, Pam Bondi, passionately represented the State of Florida.  (She just said on Greta that there are two other states, Virginia and Oklahoma, who had separate lawsuits, making a total of 28 states suing.)

Pam Bondi, Attorney General, State of Florida

Judge Vinson says:

“I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate,” Vinson wrote in his 78-page ruling. “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”

I believe he is saying the entire law is unconstitutional.  I am looking for more on his wording.

Judge Roger Vinson

Bio:  On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Paula Hawkins, Vinson was nominated by President Ronald Reagan on September 9, 1983 to a seat vacated by Lynn Higby as Higby assumed senior status. Vinson was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 4, 1983 on a senate vote and received commission on October 5, 1983. Vinson served as the chief judge from 1997 to 2004 before later assuming senior status on March 31, 2005.

U. S. Naval Academy, Lieutenant, aviator

Here we go: Click here for Full Order of Summary Judgment signed by Judge Vinson 01.31.11.


“In closing, I will simply observe, once again, that my conclusion in this case is based on an application of the Commerce Clause law as it exists pursuant to the Supreme Court’s current interpretation and definition. Only the Supreme Court (or a Constitutional amendment) can expand that.

For all the reasons stated above and pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment (doc. 80) is hereby GRANTED as to its request for declaratory relief on Count I of the Second
Amended Complaint, and DENIED as to its request for injunctive relief…..

(There’s some additional wording in here.  See document)

In accordance with Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Title 28, United States Code, Section 2201(a), a Declaratory Judgment shall be entered separately, declaring “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” unconstitutional.

DONE and ORDERED this 31st day of January, 2011.

/s/ Roger Vinson
Senior United States District Judge
Case No.:  3:10-cv-91-RV/EMT

Posted:  01.31.11

UPDATE:  Even though the Court declined to enter an injunction, his ruling does, in fact, enjoin the government from further implementing Obamacare:

“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.

(“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”)

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.”

His ruling declaring the law unconstitutional is a defacto injunction.  (This is according to Mark Levin and I believe he is right about this.  It’s pretty clear that’s how it reads.)  The judge struck down the entire law so there is no law to implement.  We’ll see.

So will the Obama administration adhere to the judge and cease implementation of the law until the Supreme Court can rule or defy the judicial branch of government?   Right now they are saying this ruling does not affect the implementation of the law.  The Court may have to further clarify this.

Update:  01.31.11


Filed under Barack Obama, health care, politics

8 responses to “Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by federal judge in Florida (exact wording linked)

  1. The entire act must be voided, but is not necessarily unconstitutional in its entirety.

    Congress didn’t write a severability clause into the act so that parts of it could be stripped out as needed in the event of legal issues. Severability, in legal terms, refers to a provision in a contract which states that if parts of the contract are held to be illegal or otherwise unenforceable, the remainder of the contract should still apply.

    So the whole of the act must be voided.


    • bellalu0

      Jon, now to the Supreme Court, huh?

      Just say they start to “tweak” it, to use Obama’s word, this would continue as it is written to a Supreme Court decision, is that right? A revision of the law at this point would have to stand on it’s own while this one moves up?


      • Theoretically it would go to the Federal Appellate Court, but there’s a chance that the Feds would try to skip that and go straight to the SCOTUS.

        For the moment, however, the law is void in those 26 States and for any corporation formally associated with the National Federation of Independent Business.

        And they can’t “tweak” it due to the lack of any severability clause in the the Act (it didn’t make the final revision!). They’d have to repeal it and start over, a process that is already started.


      • Research requires that I revise my statement. Currently ObamaCare is only void in Florida. That will likely change once the 11th Circuit Court and the SCOTUS hear the case.


  2. bellalu0

    Jon, why do you say this?


    • Why do I say which part of what I said?


      • bellalu0

        About the ruling only applying to Florida. There were 26 states officially added to the suit and there were two separate suits filed by Virginia and Oklahoma. I would think at the very least it applies to those states, but I think it applies to all states.


      • Ahhhh. I did too, then I did some research into the scope and jurisdiction of Federal Court rulings and found that Judge Vinson’s authority only extends to Florida in such matters as this.

        However…The other states will use his ruling to refuse to enforce or comply with ObamaCare and force the feds to go to court over it or give it up.


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