The big news Monday was the opinion issued by Judge Roger Vinson of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in the Attorneys General lawsuit, declaring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a/k/a Obamacare) unconstitutional. His ultimate conclusion is probably being equally celebrated and condemned in the mainstream media and online, depending upon the political bent of the particular commentator you read.
I urge supporters of the constitutional principles of our founders, particularly those of federalism and dual sovereignty, to read the full text of the opinion. It's all there, and explained in very concrete, understandable terms for the most part. For example, Judge Vinson begins his analysis with the following statement:
"I emphasized once before, but it bears repeating again: this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation, or whether it will solve or exacerbate the myriad problems in our health care system. In fact, it is not really about our health care system at all. It is principally about our federalist system, and it raises very important issues regarding the Constitutional role of the federal government."
Judge Vinson is clearly a talented wordsmith, which results in some true laugh-out-loud moments as you follow his explanation of his reasoning. When addressing the issue of the ability of the federal government to require everyone to buy health insurance, Judge Vinson opined:
"It is difficult to imagine that a nation which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in America would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place."
Savor this moment, but know that it is but one skirmish in a larger battle which is ongoing for the foreseeable future.