Third Lawsuit Against Pro-Abortion ObamaCare Gets Court Hearing in Virginia
by Steven Ertelt
October 19, 2010
Richmond, VA (LifeNews.com) — A federal judge held a court hearing on Monday in the third lawsuit filed against the ObamaCare health care reform bill that contains abortion funding and has been described by pro-life groups as the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.
The lawsuit is similar to the one a Michigan judge and a Florida judge held hearings on recently.
District Judge Henry Hudson heard the first round of oral arguments from Virginia officials and representatives of the Obama administration.
Hudson told attorneys for both sides that he would likely issue a ruling in the case by the end of the year and he also acknowledged the district court legal battle is but a precursor to a larger fight at the Supreme Court.
"As you well know, this is only one brief stop on the way to the United States Supreme Court," Hudson said.
The Virginia challenge, like the arguments presented in the other cases, says the federal government does not have the authority to require Americans to purchase health care and punish them for not doing so.
"The Supreme Court has never allowed inactivity to be regulated as commerce," said Virginia Solicitor General E. Duncan Getchell, according to The Washington Post. He called the Obama administration’s position "strained and extreme" saying "no one can opt out."
Getchell told Hudson the legislation is an "unprecedented, unlimited and unsupportable in any serious regime of delegated, enumerated powers.
The Obama administration argues the decision not to buy insurance is itself an active process that Congress can regulate.
But Judge Hudson appeared to question how those without insurance must pay and appeared to side with the argument states are making that it is a punitive fine, while the federal government says it is a tax that it is entitled to levy. This is of particular importance and concern to the states because Obama had said it would not function as a tax.
"Why did the members of Congress and the President deny to everyone in America it was a tax?" Hudson asked Obama’s lawyer. "They denied it’s a tax. The President did. Was he trying to deceive the people?"
Hudson, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush in 2002, , told the attorneys he would review the arguments and "mine deeply" the written briefs before ruling.
Hudson could decide only to nullify the individual health insurance mandate and allow the rest of the law to stand. He will have to assess whether Congress would have passed the law without the provision.
But if Hudson rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, Virginia will likely seek an injunction that would halt ObamaCare’s implementation nationally while appeals in the case proceed.
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