A federal judge in Florida ruled Monday that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional due to the mandate that most Americans must carry insurance beginning in 2014 or face a fine.
Unlike the Virginia judge who ruled last December that only the individual mandate was unconstitutional, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Florida declared the entire law unconstitutional because of the mandate’s inclusion. “[T]he individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit,” Vinson wrote in his ruling. “The individual mandate cannot be severed.”
The Justice Department said it will appeal the ruling. It is expected that the constitutionality of the law will continue to be contested until it likely reaches the Supreme Court.
Vinson’s 78-page ruling (PDF format)