I have read Judge Henry E. Hudsons 42-page ruling invalidating the individual purchase mandate of Obamacare. In a nutshell, Judge Hudson ruled:
- That the individual purchase mandate (Minimum Essential Coverage Provision) is an unprecedented stretch of government power, in his words, it extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark.
- Further, that the justification must come from Congresss enumerated Commerce Clause power to regulate economic activities.
- But the law exceeds the enumerated powers of the Commerce Clause.
- The Congresss efforts to bootstrap authority with findings and conclusions do not, in effect, amend the constitution (my words) to increase governmental power in this sphere.
- The fines for not purchasing insurance are a penalty and not a tax, and the general power of the government to tax is not applicable to the IPM.
- The individual purchase mandate is therefore, unconstitutional.
- The unconstitutional part of the law will be severed from the rest, so that Obamacare remains in effect.
- No injunction was issued because the unconstitutional part of the law does not take effect until 2014.
More analysis with quotes from the ruling over at Secondhand Smoke .