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Constitutional Challenge to ObamaCare Wins the First Round

Written By: Thomas Lifson  |  Posted: Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare, brought by Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, has won the very first legal step in a long process. A motion to dismiss brought by the Obama Administration was rejected by the judge. Rosalind S. Helderman reports on the Washington Post's Breaking News Blog: "U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected arguments from Obama administration lawyers that Virginia has no standing to sue over the law and no chance of ultimately prevailing in its constitutional claim." The suit challenges the constitutionality of the mandatory purchase of health insurance contained in the ObamaCare legislation. The next step will be a hearing of the legal arguments in Judge Hudson's courtroom in October. Mark J. Fitzgibbons adds: "The Virginia lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare survived the federal government's motion to dismiss. This battle victory for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and his team overcame attempts by the Feds to claim Virginia does not have standing to sue, that the case was not 'ripe' to be brought, and that the penalty for not purchasing health insurance is a 'tax' that Congress may constitutionally impose anyway."

The 32-page opinion is a carefully written slam-dunk at this first stage. The federal judge wrote, "Never before has the Commerce Clause and associated Necessary and Proper Clause been extended this far." The judge even quotes the Feds' brief that if the individual mandate is declared unconstitutional, "that's the end of the ballgame" for ObamaCare. The Virginia case of course cites to judicial opinions about the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, the 10th Amendment, and so on. It is remarkable, however, in one significant sense: the Virginia case remains true to the text of the Constitution. If the judges and justices were to remain true to the Constitution itself as this case proceeds up the judicial ladder, then ObamaCare will lose. Those hoping for ObamaCare to win will stake their claims in arguments that are not supported by the pure text of the Constitution. A win by ObamaCare proponents would result in the "end of the ballgame" for restrictions on federal power.

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