Thursday, October 14, 2010
In a 65 page opinion issued today, Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida has granted in part and denied in part the morion to dismiss the complaint.
The Complaint alleges that the Health Care Reform Act is unconstitutional on various grounds in six counts and the Motion to Dismiss was directed at all the counts.
Here is the bottom line:
(1) the individual mandate and concomitant penalty exceed Congressional authority under the Commerce Clause and violate the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; NOT DISMISSED
(2) the individual mandate and penalty violate substantive due process under the Fifth Amendment; DISMISSED
(3) if the penalty imposed for failing to comply with the individual mandate is found to be a tax, it is an unconstitutional unapportioned capitation or direct tax in violation of U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 4, and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; DISMISSED AS MOOT
(4) the Act coerces and commandeers the states with respect to Medicaid by altering and expanding the program in violation of Article I and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; NOT DISMISSED
(5) it coerces and commandeers with respect to the health benefit exchanges in violation of Article I and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; DISMISSED
(6) the employer mandate interferes with the states' sovereignty as large employers and in the performance of government functions in violation of Article I and the Ninth and Tenth Amendments; DISMISSED
Thus, the case will proceed on the issue of whether the individual mandate is in excess of Congress' commerce power in contravention of the Tenth Amendment and on the issue of whether the Medicaid changes are in excess of Congress' Article I power and in contravention of the Tenth Amendment.