Ruling On Virginia Challenge To ObamaCare Coming Monday

The first ruling from a Federal Court judge on the challenges filed by several states to the constitutionality of the health care reform law will be handed down Monday afternoon:

A federal judge in Virginia will rule on one of the most prominent health reform repeal lawsuits Monday, sources tell POLITICO.

The ruling stands to upstage the repeal lawsuit in Florida, where the judge is set to hear long-scheduled oral arguments on Thursday. The Florida and Virginia cases, two among many challenges to the new federal health reform law, stand the best chance at working their way up to the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson’s chambers confirmed to POLITICO that he will rule on the suit Monday, likely at midday. A George W. Bush appointee, Hudson had previously indicated he would hear the lawsuit before the end of the year.

Hudson had previously denied a Motion to Dismiss filed by the Federal Government back in August in a ruling that said:

While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate — and tax — a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce. Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue. No reported case from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not a purchase a product, notwithstanding it’s effect on interstate commerce.

What that means for how he will rule on the merits is unclear, but I would say that the odds are that he’s likely to strike the law down. Meaning that Monday could be the beginning of another bad week for Barack Obama.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “The first ruling from a Federal Court judge on the challenges filed by several states to the constitutionality of the health care reform law”

    Eh? There’s been at least two other rulings by federal circuit courts on the issue, favorable, if I’m not mistaken. (You cite them above.)

    “While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate — and tax — a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce. Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue.”

    I agree with Orin Kerr — all these lower courts contests are essentially by-play. And, moreover, Orin thinks the Necessary and Proper clause will carry the day, even if the Commerce Clause argument (if there is one) fails.