Author: Timothy Sandefur
Judge Vinson, the Florida federal judge who issued one of the decisions finding Obamacare unconstitutional, has now issued a new order temporarily staying his earlier decision pending review by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. This was because, in spite of Vinson’s ruling, some states and the federal government were beginning implementation of the law, and there’s significant question about the effect Vinson’s ruling should have in other states. Vinson writes,
my declaratory judgment, of course, only applies to the parties to this litigation. The State of Michigan is one of those parties. However, a federal district court in Michigan has already upheld the Act and the individual mandate. Can (or should) I enjoin and halt implementation of the Act in a state where one of its federal courts has held it to be Constitutional? In addition, many of the plaintiff states have publicly represented that they will immediately halt implementation of the Act in light of my declaratory judgment, while at least eight plaintiff states (as identified by the defendants in their motion and reply) have suggested that, in an abundance of caution, they will not stop implementing the Act pending appeal. In addition to these apparent disagreements among the plaintiff states, there is even disagreement within the plaintiff states as to whether the implementation should continue pending appeal. For example, while the plaintiffs (a group that includes the Attorney General of Washington) have requested that I enjoin the defendants from implementing the Act, the Governor of Washington has just filed an amicus brief specifically opposing that request (doc. 163). At this point in time, and in light of all this uncertainty, it would be difficult to deny the defendants a stay pending appeal. Nonetheless, in light of the potential for ongoing injury to the plaintiffs, the stay should be in place for as short of time as possible (months, and not years)…. [T]he stay will be conditioned upon the defendants filing their anticipated appeal within seven (7) calendar days of this order and seeking an expedited appellate review, either in the Court of Appeals or with the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Prof. Stephen Presser has a brief op-ed on Obamacare here:
It is telling that advocates of the constitutionality of the health care law have not been able to tell us what limits on the federal government remain. Perhaps they have just accepted that the federal government is now all-powerful.
Some of us still don’t think so.