A federal judge has declared 100 percent of Obamacare is unconstitutional, based on his key ruling that the the individual mandate, requiring persons to purchase healthcare insurance, is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, appointed to the bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, ruled that the reform law's so-called "individual mandate" went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.What matters most here is that the mandate is "not severable," which is proof (if any were needed) of how badly written the act is. As I wrote in November,
"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications," Vinson wrote.
Severability clauses are common in public laws and contracts. The clause specifies that if a section of the bill or contract is found to be invalid, then only the affected section is stricken. The rest of the bill or contract remains in force.What that omission means is that Judge Vinson had the discretion on whether to strike down part of the law or all of it. He chose the latter, and bully good for him. Last month, a federal judge in Virginia also struck down the individual mandate, but did not invoke the law's lack of a severability clause to invalidate the whole act.
There is no "severability" clause in the Obamacare bill.