Another federal judge ruled today that the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.
And U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida went a step further than his counterpart in Virginia, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson in Richmond.
He ruled that the entire act is unconstitutional. “The Act, like a defectively designed watch, needs to be redesigned and reconstructed by the watchmaker,” Vinson wrote in a 78-page opinion.
Hudson had held in December that only the individual mandate failed to meet constitutional muster. Like Hudson, Vinson refused to enter an injunction blocking enforcement of the law.
Vinson’s case was perhaps the most closely watched of the more than 20 challenges to the law that have been filed in federal court because governors or attorneys general from 26 states have signed on as plaintiffs.
Two other judges, including U.S. District Judge Norman K. Moon of Lynchburg, have upheld the constitutionality of the law.