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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Florida judge who ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional says states should move forward with federal health care law



U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, who in January ruled the federal health care law unconstitutional, ruled today that states should move forward with enacting the law while the case works its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Vinson, though, said his decision is conditioned on the federal government filing an appeal within seven days.

Vinson issued the opinion after the federal government asked him to clarify his January ruling. Several states, including Florida, have interpreted the ruling to mean that implementation of the law should stop.

Florida is the lead plaintiff in the suit, which was joined by 25 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Vinson's opinion, though, says he did indeed intend his ruling to stop implementation of the Affordable Patient Care Act or ObamaCare, and he assumed the federal government to ask for a stay, not a clarification.

From the ruling: "As both sides have repeatedly emphasized throughout this case, the Act seeks to comprehensively reform and regulate more than one-sixth of the national economy. It does so via several hundred statutory provisions and thousands of regulations that put myriad obligations and responsibilities on individuals, employers, and the states. It has generated considerable uncertainty while the Constitutionality of the Act is being litigated in the courts. The sooner this issue is finally decided by the Supreme Court, the better off the entire nation will be."

[Last modified: Thursday, March 3, 2011 1:49pm]


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