So this happened yesterday (from MSNBC):

The health care law suffered its first major legal setback Monday when a federal judge declared that the heart of the sweeping legislation is unconstitutional. The decision handed Republican foes ammunition for their repeal effort next year.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointee in Richmond, Va., marked the first successful court challenge to any portion of the new law, following two earlier rulings in its favor by Democratic-appointed judges. A number of other lawsuits were dismissed early on, without rulings on the substance of the law.
Read the Va. judge’s ruling on the health care law (.pdf)

The law’s central requirement for nearly all Americans to carry insurance is unconstitutional, well beyond Congress’ power to mandate, Hudson ruled. That put him in the same camp as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli — the Republican who filed the suit — and many of the GOP lawmakers who will take control of the U.S. House in January.

But Hudson denied Virginia’s request to strike down the law in its entirety or block it from being implemented while his ruling is appealed by the Obama administration.

“An individual’s personal decision to purchase — or decline to purchase — health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause,” said Hudson, a 2002 appointee of President George W. Bush.

You caught that last bit right? The judge was appointed by none other than the war criminal who bankrupted our nation and also almost toppled the entire global economy — George W. Bush. So this judge is probably a total ideologue who thinks it’s fine for people to not have health insurance.

Here’s the problem with this logic. We all pretty much agree that it’s a good thing that people should be required to have car insurance because if there’s an accident, well, someone has to pay for that. Similarly the current system where people who don’t have health insurance get sick or have an accident allows those people to pass their bills which they can’t pay onto the rest of us. This has resulted in the overly expensive healthcare system we don’t enjoy today where people are scared to go to the doctor or the hospital because they have no idea what the bill is gonna look like.

Shoot, you and I probably know like 5 people between us whose cars are better insured than they or their kids are. It’s just ridiculous on the face of it.

BTW, this is the same judge who convicted football star Michael Vick over dogfighting. Overall, Vick’s behavior was disturbing and reprehensible. He deserved to do some time in the joint. That said, according to the Judgepedia:

On December 10, 2007 on the Date of Vick’s sentencing, Vick thought that he would get a reduced sentence for cooperating with authorities but Judge Hudson during the sentencing said he wasn’t so sure[8].

“I’m not convinced you’ve fully accepted responsibility,” Hudson told Vick, who arrived in court wearing the standard issue prison uniform when he voluntarily surrendered on November 19, 2007 to begin serving his sentence early[8].

Despite the early surrender, a public apology and participation in an animal sensitivity training course, Vick was denied an “acceptance of responsibility” credit that would have reduced his sentence[8].

Hmm. Does Judge Hudson have a problem with black men? It would be interesting for someone to review his case record and determine whether black men who face him in a courtroom tend to face harsher sentences than white defendants…

Back to the healthcare case, it’s clear this judge is biased and is an “activist” – the kind the right warned us about but are totally fine with when it agrees with their world view. This is a slanted and ridiculous ruling. A Supreme Court challenge is ahead but won’t be settled til at least a year from now. Expect to hear more about this in the meantime since much of the passed healthcare reform doesn’t go into effect until 2014. The battle to get your cousin without a job (or you) some healthcare coverage has only just begun.

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