"Contempt for the law is a grave matter."...
3/4/11, "ObamaCare's uncertain future," Investors.com Editorial
"Reform: The Democrats' health care overhaul is taking hard hits as the first anniversary of its enactment draws near. Is its demise just as imminent?
- Thursday, for example, was not the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's finest day.
First, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson gave the Obama administration seven days to file a motion to appeal or seek an
- expedited appeal at the U.S. Circuit or Supreme Court level.
Vinson is the Florida judge who on Jan. 31 ruled the act unconstitutional. The White House said it would appeal the decision, but it clearly chose not to so it could drag out the legal process. Administration officials simply ignored the judge's order to cease implementation of the law,
- and Vinson called them on it.
In Thursday's 20-page opinion, an agitated Vinson chastised Justice Department lawyers for delaying their motion asking him to clarify his original ruling.
"It was not expected that they would effectively ignore the order and declaratory judgment for 2 1/2 weeks, continue to implement the act, and only then
- file a belated motion to 'clarify,'" Vinson wrote.
Once again, the judge is expecting the administration to comply with his orders. Should it fail to satisfy his requirements within the seven-day window, it should be hauled back into court and dealt with seriously.
- Contempt for the law is a grave matter.
Also on Thursday, the House, as the Senate did last month, voted to repeal the law's 1099 mandate. This provision requires business owners, beginning next year, to file a 1099 tax form with the Internal Revenue Service for every vendor that sells them more than $600 worth of goods or services in a year.
This is a piece of the bill that even a significant number of Democrats couldn't stomach. The House tally was 314-112, with 76 Democrats joining the 238 Republicans who were present in voting to kill the mandate.
Then there was the president himself, who campaigned for a federal takeover of health care while running for the White House, saying he will sign legislation repealing the provision.
Such developments can't be inspiring confidence among ObamaCare supporters. It's looking increasingly like the law will be dismantled piece by piece, beginning with 1099, or erased in a single stroke through the courts,
- starting with Vinson's January ruling.
Never mind the frivolous scorekeeping that says three judges have ruled ObamaCare constitutional while only two have said it isn't. It takes only one ruling of unconstitutionality to invalidate a law,
- and that opinion is working its way through the appeals process.
The other judges' opinions — including that of District Court Judge Gladys Kessler, who said
- Congress has the power to regulate mental activity,
that activity in this case being the decision to not buy heath care insurance — are irrelevant.
March 23 will mark the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act being signed into law. What will be its status at that time? For the good of our republic, we're hoping the monstrosity that's called ObamaCare will have become nothing more than
- a well-learned lesson in how not to conduct domestic policy."