Judge Vinson’s Tough Love for State and Federal Lawmakers

Edmund Haislmaier /

The principal issue addressed in Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling Monday on the case of Florida vs. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is the application of the Constitution’s “interstate commerce” clause with respect to Obamacare’s individual mandate. But two other parts of his ruling send an important judicial “tough love” message to state and federal lawmakers that the courts cannot—and should not attempt to—solve their political and policy problems for them.

In the case of state lawmakers, Judge Vinson dismissed the states’ argument that the federal government was unconstitutionally “commandeering” state resources when Congress included in Obamacare provisions that will have the effect of increasing state costs for Medicaid. He pointed out that participation in the Medicaid program (more…)