White House vows to implement health care reform, despite judge’s ruling
The Justice Department says it will appeal US District Judge Roger Vinson’s decision, which declared the health-care reform law unconstitutional and void in its entirety.
Senior administration officials vowed on Monday to continue with the full implementation of President Obama’s health-care reform law despite a federal judge’s decision declaring the law unconstitutional and void in its entirety.Skip to next paragraph
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“This is not the last word by any means,” a White House official told reporters in a background briefing. “We are quite confident it won’t stand.”
The Justice Department issued a statement saying it intends to appeal the decision. “We strongly disagree with the court’s ruling,” the statement says in part.
The comments came in reaction to a 78-page decision released Monday by US District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Fla. The judge ruled that Congress exceeded its power under the Constitution’s commerce clause when it required all Americans to purchase health insurance as part of the president’s health-care reform law.
The judge also declared the entire law must be struck down, because Congress eliminated a provision that would have allowed a judge to invalidate only part of the law while preserving the rest of it.
Fourth federal judge to rule on law
Administration officials and supporters of the health-care reform law immediately criticized Vinson’s ruling. “This case will be viewed as an outlier,” one administration official said.
“We strongly believe that health reform is constitutional and is consistent with longstanding precedents of the Supreme Court,” she said.
Others saw Vinson’s ruling as vindication of a more robust view of constitutional limits to federal power. “Nancy Pelosi has her answer: yes, we’re serious about the Constitution,” said Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network.
House Speaker John Boehner praised Vinson’s decision. “The federal government should not be in the business of forcing you to buy health insurance and punishing you if you don’t,” he said.