Tuesday, February 1, 2011
The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act this morning, 10:00 a.m. (EST). Here's the witness list:
- Oregon AG John Kroger
- Randy Barnett
- Jones Day Partner Michael Carvin
- Walter Dellinger
- Charles Fried
The hearing comes on the heels of Judge Vinson's (N.D. Fla.) ruling on Monday that the individual mandate exceeds Congress's Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause authority, that the mandate is not severable from the rest of the Act, and that therefore the entire Act is unconstitutional.
Judge Vinson's ruling is the second federal district court ruling that the individual insurance mandate exceeds congressional authority. (We posted on the first one here.) There are also two federal district court rulings that the mandate falls within congressional authority; we posted here and here.
The hearing will have no legal or constitutional significance. Anything that can be said about the constitutionality of the Act has already been said (and argued in the courts), and the Senate already made its own judgment on the constitutionality of the Act when it passed it in the first place.