Virginia Judge Finds Obama Health Care Law Unconstitutional

Tyler Durden's picture

Some curious headlines flashing on Bloomberg: a Virginia judge has just found that the Obama healthcare law is unconstitutional, and that Congress has exceeded its authority with its requirement that individuals should buy insurance. Also, the judge apparently wants portions of the law overturned, specfically the "individual mandate" provision of the Obama health care law. --- known legally as Sec. 1501. Good thing Obama is a constitutional lawyer and can explain to the judge why he is so very wrong. In the meantime, expect a Supreme Court appeal, and possibly delays to the US debt hitting $1 quadrillion.

A key quote from the Judge:

"At its core this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance ...its about an individual's right to participate"

And some more from Reuters:

A judge in Virginia on Monday invalidated a key part of the landmark healthcare law that requires individuals to buy health insurance, the first major setback for President Barack Obama on an issue that will likely end up at the Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, backed arguments by the state of Virginia that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring that individuals buy health insurance or face a fine.

The decision is the first finding against the law that was passed in March and aimed at overhauling the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system. Judges in other states have rejected other challenges to the law.

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Cdad's picture

Sweet!  That won't cause 10,000 health care stock trades to unwind...or anything.  I'm guessing it is all "priced in."


More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


The dominant legal precedent appears to be:

Judges in other states have rejected other challenges to the law.

But to get a law overturned in a minor district you need an activist judge, preferably with the right kind of political backing:

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, [...]

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

Side note: sorry about those nested quotes in the reply - could not get rid of them via the editor. Some sort of bug?

chopper read's picture

which judges are not activist judges?  in fact, those judges who enforce the U.S. Constitution are the least activist of any. 

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

Yeah, you mean like those Supreme Court judges who enforced constitutional rights and upheld Roe v. Wade?

Or those who enforced Second Amendment constitutional rights and overturned gun control laws?

Or those who decided to refuse hearing the Florida recount case in 2000 (I mean, counting all votes has no constitutional relevance, right?) and selected G.W. Bush as the next President of the US?

Which of these activist judges enforced the Constitution? All of them?

damage's picture

Have you even read the US Constitution or the Federalist Papers?

StychoKiller's picture

Read "The Dirty Dozen, How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom", ISBN:  978-1-935308-27-0


Vashta Nerada's picture

Had to flag you for this - most fascists have much better arguments than this.

Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

So what's next on the "buy or you will be fined list"?  GM products?  T-bills in IRA accounts?  California muni-bonds?  There is no precedent for this.  The scary thing is that the leftists politicians support it without even reading the bill and their constituents fall in line without questioning the implications.

pan-the-ist's picture

In MN you cannot operate a motor vehicle without insurance.

There are many laws that force private citizens pay private companies what essentially amounts to a tax.

In fact, it is this nesting of private enterprise into the public domain that many of the enlightened call fascism/corporatism.

I think we can all (left/right/center) agree that this is evil.

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture

In MN you cannot operate a motor vehicle without insurance.

I'm waiting for republican AG's to sue over the constitutionality of that as well. (I'm not holding my breath though.)

fallingman's picture

State have rights that the federal government does not.

Also ... you can chose not to drive.

damage's picture

You forget the 14th P&I Clause.

Also usually those state laws only apply if you are driving on government roads, not for example cutting donuts in your backyard out in the country.

damage's picture

This is true, but usually the state laws that require you have insurance only apply if you are driving on government roads, and it does not apply to say you taking your Jeep out onto your own private property without insurance.

pan-the-ist's picture

That is true.  I can spin donuts in my car until the cops come and take it for not being licensed (which I cannot do unless I have proof of insurance...)

Calmyourself's picture

I see our state bird has popped his head up; The common loon. 

"There are many laws that force private citizens pay private companies what essentially amounts to a tax."

How about another example as that one is tired, broken and does not hold water..  Say loon are you forced to buy insurance if you drive it around your yard like I do with a snow plow truck, nope your not.. Your analogy is now totally broken..  Send some fan mail to Gov. Dayton @ c/o George Soros fundraiser NY NY

Almost Solvent's picture

I think you meant the smug knowitall.

Rotwang's picture

In Washington (the state), I have an email from the DOL (Department of Licensing) stating that insurance is not required on vehicles twenty-five (25) years or older.

StychoKiller's picture

Human bodies are the NOT the same thing as motor vehicles, you can always find someone with a license (and insurance) to drive you -- finding another body, not so easy!  Besides, what makes ya think such a law isn't unconstitutional either?

More Critical Thinking Wanted's picture


The Constitution indeed gives states the freedom to opt out of such federal laws. You can lobby your local republican state's legislative body to opt out of Medicaid. That means that people will be able to pay no health care tax.

It remains to be seen whether there's any state legislature so stupid to commit sucide by electorate.

Meanwhile republican states are trying another, rather dishonest route: instead of opting out of the federal program fair and square they claim that recent enhancements to it are 'unconstitutional' and hope that the republican Supreme Court helps them out. Riiiight ...


Calmyourself's picture

How is this for honest, straight from the judge, here comes the judge.

“This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation” and is unsupported by previous legal cases around the Commerce Clause of the Constitution."

Edmon Plume's picture

Your main problem - as you repeatedly demonstrate - is you think that what is just and what is legal are the same thing.  By that logic, I can think of a lot of world citizens who deserve to be raped and pillaged because their laws allow it, or don't disallow it.

Your disdain with the judiciary is one-sided.  You howl when "the other side" "wins", and cry foul, but gloat when "your side" "wins".  There are no winners in this game, except the power hungry.  Among SCOTUS's more recent fails is the right of government to seize private property by public authorities to use for other private purposes, meaning their well-connected pals who want to "repurpose" someone else's private land for personal gain.  I wish I could say that is a solitary example of judicial malfeasance, but it isn't.

If the goal here is more personal freedom, then no matter which way you cut it the healthcare law is unjust.  It enslaves the individual's health freedom to the review and mercy of bureaucrats - most of them unelected.  Governments cannot show mercy - it's a purely human trait.

However, if the goal is less personal freedom, then we're on the right track.  Who cares what the founders would think - I can speak for myself - I want more personal freedom, not less.  And before this law, I DID have more personal freedom.

StychoKiller's picture

It's worse than most think it is!  Read "The Dirty Dozen, How Twelve Supreme Court Cases Radically Expanded Government and Eroded Freedom", ISBN:  978-1-935308-27-0

boooyaaaah's picture

Amen bro, Well said

Individual Freedom is a problem to Tyrants

Isn't a forced buy in whether you want to or not , a tax.

But without Government doctors a tax will not get you health care

Soooo government doctors are next 


Edmon Plume's picture

He overturned the individual mandate, not the law.  I guess Bush did something right after all.

nmewn's picture

Activist judges?

You mean like in the Ninth Circuit?

Everyone, who has a modicum of sense, has said the state can't tax you for not buying a product, no more than they can fine you for not taking any voluntary action.

Which is essentially what your former law school professor signed into law.

"STEPHANOPOULOS:  That may be, but it's still a tax increase.

OBAMA:  No.  That's not true, George.  The -- for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase.  What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I'm not covering all the costs.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But it may be fair, it may be good public policy...

OBAMA:  No, but -- but, George, you -- you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.  Any...

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Here’s the...

OBAMA:  What -- what -- if I -- if I say that right now your premiums are going to be going up by 5 or 8 or 10 percent next year and you say well, that's not a tax increase; but, on the other hand, if I say that I don't want to have to pay for you not carrying coverage even after I give you tax credits that make it affordable, then...

STEPHANOPOULOS:  I -- I don't think I'm making it up. Merriam Webster's Dictionary: Tax -- "a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes."

OBAMA:  George, the fact that you looked up Merriam's Dictionary, the definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now.  Otherwise, you wouldn't have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition.  I mean what..."

The federal government is arguing that it is a tax now...just exactly what Barry argued with George that it wasn't...because you can't call it a one did anything to be fined for...strictly speaking...they did nothing.

So, he's either stupid or a liar...take your pick.

Earth to Barry & CT...the government is not forcing anyone to buy & drive a car (at least not yet...there is the Government Motors card still to be played...LOL) the argument comparing health insurance with licensing and insuring a car driver is specious at best.

Really, it's just ridiculous.

DosZap's picture

Or, I get a refund on the $2,500.00 increase for 2011 caused by it.

thegreekT's picture

USD positive surely?

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Healthcare is not a right.

Shelter is not a right.

Food is not a right.

No "thing" is a right.

All entitlements are bribes, not rights.

Bring the Gold's picture

Soooo....since the bill of rights is gone...there are no rights?

Except for you of course.


What are rights in your inestimable opinion?

caconhma's picture

WOW. We have almost 545 clowns in the Congress. What a fking circus.

Bring the Gold's picture

I didn't junk you by the way. Not sure why you were junked.

Well all of those have been pretty much curtailed wouldn't you agree?

I'm just saying why complain about rights granted when critical ones are stripped away?

Besides you know it's not a right to healthcare, it's a right to be taxed for living. Health care doesn't enter into the equation unless you mean profits for the "healthcare" industry.

Bolweevil's picture

Apparently it's a right to be taxed for dying also. Sweet.

Philidor's picture

Consider this syllogism:  A. Receiving healthcare is a right.  B. Healthcare is principally a service.  Therefore: C: Healthcare suppliers must be obligated to supply healthcare services.  Oops, I thought the 13th amendment outlawed involuntary servitude.

blunderdog's picture

Why is it all you so-called Constitutional experts with the ultra-simple answers to everything can't get even the MOST FUCKING ELEMENTARY SHIT CORRECT?

That's the Declaration of Independence, you dumbfuck, and it has no technical meaning whatsoever as far as "rights" of the citizen or the laws of the land.

Jeebus it just makes me sick to see people act like they know something about our founding history and make such incredibly stupid mistakes.  Clean up your act or STFU.

trav7777's picture

well, that is not technically correct.  both the DOI and the Preamble are referred to in Constitutional cases.  They have some weight but far less than the Document itself, more as a contextual framing thereof.

StychoKiller's picture

Even "The Federalist Papers" are taken into consideration in some Supreme Court cases, because they reveal the Framer's intentions.

Irwin Fletcher's picture

Actually no - it's John Locke. In the Declaration of Independence, it's life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Evidently Jefferson and Franklin wanted to reserve the right to tax property.

DosZap's picture

No, actually that's incorrect, PURSUIT of HAPPINESS, was originally PROPERTY.

Treeplanter's picture

I recall that "property" was removed because it might weaken the case against slavery in future arguments.'s picture

That's the Declaration of Independence, you dumbfuck, and it has no technical meaning whatsoever as far as "rights" of the citizen or the laws of the land.

I replied to the question, "What are rights in your inestimable opinion?" I enumerated man's rights under natural law.

Perhaps you should try flailing about and shouting at yourself for a change as it is apparent that if anyone here is a "dumbfuck," it's you.


Bring the Gold's picture

Who's natural law? It's just an opinion. If food, water and shelter (required for life) aren't rights then that sort of gets rid of the right to life part of life liberty and happiness. Again, those three were just someone's opinion. Even if that someone was a brilliant person for their era it's not like he discovered some as yet undefined law of physics.

If anything the only one of those three that is natural law is the right to life. Since many in this thread don't think a person has a right to food, water or shelter even that right is suspect. Life, Liberty and Happiness have been curtailed since the dawn of time and this country has been no exception. Also remember those rights were not granted to American Indians or slaves so they weren't REALLY natural rights were they?

We need to illuminate a new set of rights for people and decide what they should be as a civil society living in the realities of the 21st century instead of leaning on the ruminations of Enlightenment era philosophers. I actually agree with many of their ideas if not most of them, but people seem to want to freeze their philosophy in time as unchangable.  Trying to enshrine the rights as the will of god, or natural law or a law of physics is just a rhetorical trick to prevent debate. Also it didn't work as I don't see any of those three rights in effect currently, do you? No, we need to have open civil debate about what our rights should be NOW in the 21st century in the info age in a time of global interconnectedness. We can't rest on the laurels of even the most brilliant luminaries of the 1700's.'s picture

Who's natural law? It's just an opinion. If food, water and shelter (required for life) aren't rights then that sort of gets rid of the right to life part of life liberty and happiness.

Natural law is not an opinion, it's objective reality. The right to live, work and keep the proceeds of one's labor are obvious and natural. If I grow an apple it is mine. If someone gives me an apple it is mine. If someone else wants my apple it is not his right to take it.

No real right requires someone else to give you something which they own. If such rights existed then your right to your own body and property would become null and void for the man who you claim has a right to your food could legitimately demand that you get of your ass and grow apples for him all day long. That is the right which you suggest is his.


nmewn's picture

A million parasites easily balanced against a single DeTocqueville...well stated sir.

cowdiddly's picture

Unless said apple tree was on a BOA owned lot//////////////then N/A