US Federal Judge Robert Vinson, of the northern district of Florida, struck down Obamacare as un-Constitutional. In particular, he stated that the mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance was a gross overreach by the Federal Government, one prohibited by the Constitution. As the individual mandate is a key piece of the whole of Obamacare, Judge Vinson stated that the entire bill was void.
This is the second federal judge to rule in this fashion. Two other federal judges ruled in favor of Obamacare. The judges who ruled in favor are Democrats, the ones who ruled against are Republicans. This will end up in the Supreme Court, which shouldn't surprise anyone.
When it does end up in the Supreme Court, it is not a given how that body will rule. Conventional widsom predicts a 4 to 4 split along liberal/conservative lines, with Justice Kennedy, a perennial fence sitter, being the decider. Justice Kegan, who argued on behalf of Obamacare during her time in Obama's White House, should recuse herself from the issue, since she was an active participant on one side of the issue. She will not do so ... Obama will not let her, her vote is critical to him having a chance to succeed.
In the short term, Judge Vinson's ruling should stop all work and enforcement of Obamacare - since it now does not exist as law, there is no authority for the Federal Government, or anyone else, to proceed with it. Obama's frontmen have already stated that they consider the ruling to be judicial activism (funny how they love activist judges when the are FOR liberal causes), and will not abide by the decision.
This means that Obama, Congress, and anyone else acting on Obamacare is breaking the law, until such time as a higher court reverses Judge Vinson's ruling.
26 States are pursuing lawsuits against Obamacare. Any of those states can petition Judge Vinson to find Obama in contempt of court for violating his ruling. It remains to be seen if that will happen. I doubt it.
The Heritage Foundation has an excellent writeup of what this ruling really means, and its ramifications:
Update - US Federal Judge Martin Feldman, of New Orleans, ruled that the Obama Administraction acted in contempt when it disregarded his ruling regarding restrictions on offshore oil drilling in the aftermath of the BP oil spill. Citing the behaviour of the Interior Department, Judge Feldman said this:
"Each step the government took following the court's imposition of a preliminary injunction showcases its defiance. Such dismissive conduct, viewed in tandem with the re-imposition of a second blanket and substantively identical moratorium, and in light of the national importance of the case, provide this court with clear and convincing evidence of the government's contempt."
Issued on Feb. 2, this is a contempt citation for Obama, Ken Salazar, and their Interior Department. The language in Judge Feldman's ruling is extraordinary in its bluntness and direct criticism. It is clear that the Judge is very unhappy that the federal government decided to ignore the ruling of a federal court.
If this contempt ruling had been made against an ordinary citizen, that person would be in court before the judge, or already in jail.
This is typical behavoir for the far left. Anything they want to do is OK, whether legal or not, as long as it is for their cause.
This is identical to what is happening with Judge Vinson ruling Obamacare un-Constitutional. Obama's minions are publicly declaring they will not abide by the Judge's decision, because they believe it is not correct.
You know what really ought to happen here? US Federal Marshalls, who are charged with enforcing US Federal Court rulings, should march into the White House, slap a pair of cuffs on Obama, and frog-march him out the door straight to these courts to explain himself and his actions. If he thinks he can get away with ignoring rulings he doesn't like, what in the world is to keep him from ignoring the Supreme Court when they declare Obamacare un-Constitutional? With his (and his cronies') attitudes towards the Constitution and laws they don't agree with, there is no telling what will happen then. If the President defies the Supreme Court, what happens?
A sitting US President is openly ignoring rulings from US Federal Judges, thereby breaking multiple laws. Isn't this grounds for impeachment?