I have to admit that I don't have much faith in the American judicial system. Activist judges have too often made it a practice to legislate from the bench, forgetting that our constitution was setup to ensure a separation of powers.
But today some of my faith has been restored. Judge Roger Vinson ruled today that Obama's healthcare reform bill is unconstitutional. He said in his ruling:
"I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one-sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here."
"While the individual mandate was clearly 'necessary and essential' to the act as drafted, it is not 'necessary and essential' to health care reform in general. Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void."
The only thing I don't understand is why he "reluctantly" made his ruling. Why would anyone who believes in individual freedom be reluctant to say that Congress forcing individuals to purchase a marketed product is unconstitutional? This was an outright assault on personal liberty and should never have been passed. Judge Vinson, as well as the governors and state attorney generals who brought the suit are to be commended for their commitment to our constitution.
Hopefully, this ruling will provide Congress with the incentive to revisit the issue of healthcare reform. Without a doubt something needs to be done to ensure that all Americans who want it have access to healthcare. But there must be a way of doing this without stealing away people'sfreedom to control their own lives.