Comment On Federal Court Ruling On Health Care Law

“While several judges have dismissed challenges to the Affordable Care Act, today, Judge Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia declared that one provision of the law is unconstitutional.  Judge Hudson did not issue an injunction requiring the federal government to suspend implementation of the Affordable Care Act, as the relevant section does not go into effect for several years.  Other decisions handed down by courts across the country have upheld Congress’s authority to enact this legislation; Judge Hudson’s decision is the first to depart from those rulings.  I expect that today’s opinion, as well as other rulings around the country related to the Affordable Care Act, will be appealed, and the circuit courts will hear further arguments in the coming months. 

“Some of the same politicians bringing these suits once criticized court challenges of other laws, arguing that those plaintiffs were trying to achieve a victory in court when they did not have the votes to win in Congress.  The politically-motivated court challenges of the Affordable Care Act appear to be just that.  Partisans who did not have the votes in the elected branches when the law passed after years of debate are now trying to fulfill their ideological priorities in court. 

“I trust that our independent judiciary will uphold time-honored precedent and Congress’s constitutional power to enact laws that ensure the health and security of hardworking Americans, just as they have upheld laws creating Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

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