Thursday, October 14, 2010

UPDATED: Federal Judge rules Obamacare suit can go forward

Via Fox News Channel (America Live): A US federal judge has ruled that a multi-state challenge to the healthcare reform law can move forward.

The ruling was widely expected—Judge Roger Vinson, a Reagan appointee—had indicated that he would likely dismiss parts of the suit, while allowing other counts to go to trial.  Vinson did not rule on the merits of the case, according to press reports, but did dismiss four of the six counts.  The two that will proceed are the counts challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and expansion of Medicaid.

Filed by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on the same day President Obama signed the sweeping and controversial bill into law, the suit was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Today’s ruling almost certainly means that the legal challenges to the regime’s “signature policy accomplishment” will wind up before the United States Supreme Court. 

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Michigan upheld the individual mandate's constitutionality in a separate lawsuit filed by the nonpartisan Thomas More Law Center.  But in August, a federal judge in Virginia refused the Justice Department’s request to dismiss Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit.

UPDATE: The Hill has the full text of Vinson’s ruling.

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