Conservative Federal judges strike down challenge to ACA

Posted November, 8 2011 by arianne

Well. This is good news.

Several news outlets are reporting that the Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit has upheld a lower court ruling that had found it to be all fine and dandy and, more importantly, constitutional, to require Americans to buy health insurance or face a penalty (i.e. the “individual mandate” provision of the ACA).

Obamacare naysayers have been tooting the “unconstitutional” horn from the get-go, claiming that everything in the bill down to the paper it was written on is an abomination on the core principles laid out by our nation’s founding fathers.

This latest challenge on the individual mandate made it up into Appeals Court and happened to fall into the laps of two great bastions of conservative judicial thinking – Laurence Silberman and Brett Kavanaugh.  Contrary to what many expected, and in move that has somewhat restored this blogger’s faith in humanity, both judges rejected the challenge to the ACA.  While Kavanaugh maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case as a tax matter, Silberman struck it down outright, citing other federal mandates that had suffered similar legal challenges:

“It certainly is an encroachment on individual liberty, but it is no more so than a command that restaurants or hotels are obliged to serve all customers regardless of race, that gravely ill individuals cannot use a substance their doctors described as the only effective palliative for excruciating pain, or that a farmer cannot grow enough wheat to support his own family. The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local–or seemingly passive–their individual origins.”

That’s powerful stuff, folks.

Click here to read the related story in the NY Times, and a fun one from Think Progress.