Virginia was my home for 28 years, and I still have a great fondness for it. So when good news hails from that state, I rejoice. In this case, it’s very good news for the nation.
The Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, sued in court to overturn the mandate in the healthcare law Congress passed earlier this year that forces people to buy health insurance or be penalized for failing to do so.
Yesterday, a federal judge in Virginia ruled that the individual mandate provision of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional. The law, the judge explained, “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power” as well as the right of Congress “to compel individuals to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce.”
What this means is that the federal government has no authority to make anyone buy health insurance. As with many lower court decisions, this one will undoubtedly be appealed. Virginia governor Bob McDonnell is asking that the appeals court be left out of this process in order for the United States Supreme Court to settle the matter earlier rather than later.
This is an important first step in overturning an unconstitutional law, but it is just that—a first step. While we can be glad the judge ruled in favor of constitutionality, limited government, and plain old common sense, the battle isn’t over. Other states, such as Florida, are also suing. Hopefully, this precedent will help. We have to wait and see what happens next.
This ruling is a blow to the Obama administration, one of many lately.