We Interrupt Your Regularly-Scheduled Program of Courts Declaring "ObamaCare" Unconstitutional

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 29 2011 1:44 PM

We Interrupt Your Regularly-Scheduled Program of Courts Declaring "ObamaCare" Unconstitutional

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This is a big deal. It's not just that "a court" found that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. It's that the judge, Jeffrey Sutton, was appointed by George W. Bush. This is the first time a Bush appointee has sided with the administration on the ACA.

Congress had a rational basis for concluding that, in the aggregate, the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care substantially affects interstate commerce. Furthermore, Congress had a rational basis for concluding that the minimum coverage provision is essential to the Affordable Care Act’s larger reforms to the national markets in health care delivery and health insurance. Finally, the provision regulates active participation in the health care market, and in any case, the Constitution imposes no categorical bar on regulating inactivity. Thus, the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause, and the decision of the district court is AFFIRMED.
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Tech problems prevent me from posting the whole decision, with a partial dissent, but you can find it if you head to the 6th circuit website.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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