Health care repeal rulings

The constitutionality of Obama care is obviously headed to the Supreme Court. Question is: does Monday's far-reaching decision influence the high-court justices in any way. KUSI's Ed Lenderman has been following this story and shares the details.

The health care law could go before the high court as early as next year. Tuesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson makes it a two-two tie in the lower federal courts on the constitutionality of Obamacare. But Judge Vinson's decision is getting a lot of attention because he struck down the entire package.

What's more, Judge Vinson rejected the administration's argument that Congress' broad powers to regulate commerce meant lawmakers could require Americans to buy health insurance. If that were the case, said the Judge, Congress could also force us to buy a house, a car, a television.

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Professor David Steinberg, an expert on constitutional law, says there is authority for that position, “the supreme court has never, and I mean never held that the commerce clause authorizes the federal government to require people to buy a product from a private company.”

Doesn't that mean the current court will rule the law unconstitutional as well. No, says the Professor, pointing to the same commerce clause and the argument that people are required to buy car insurance if they want to drive a vehicle.

“One thing I think is almost certain is that it will be a 5-4 vote, there will be four for and four against, assuming Justice Kagen doesn't recuse herself, which she should, but probably won't, the deciding vote will be Justice Kennedy, so ultimately, it will come down to him and he's awfully hard to predict,” said Professor Steinberg.

But first before this gets to the supreme court, there are the federal appeals courts that will take up the lower court Judges' rulings.

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