Pensacola judge rules White House can carry on health care law, for nowby Dara Kam | March 3rd, 2011
President Obama’s administration can continue implementation of the federal health care act, a federal judge ordered today in the multi-state lawsuit led by Florida.
But, in a 20-page order issued today, Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida gave the White House one week to file its appeal.
Attorney General Pam Bondi, leading the charge in the case involving 25 other states, had insisted that Vinson’s ruling quashed the law and that the state no longer had to implement it.
But in his “clarification” issued today, Vinson today wrote that his January ruling striking down the federal law as unconstitutional did not force White House officials and states to stop implementing the law.
But, he wrote, that was because he expected the Justice Department to immediately file an appeal in the case, expected to ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The sooner this issue is finally decided by the Supreme Court, the better off the entire nation will be. And yet, it has been more than one month from the entry of my order and judgment and still the defendants have not filed their notice of appeal,” Vinson wrote.
He conditioned the stay upon the Justice Department filing the appeal within seven days.
Vinson chided the White House for lagging.
“As I wrote about two weeks after this litigation was filed: ‘the citizens of this country have an interest in having this case resolved as soon as practically
possible,’” he wrote. “That was nearly eleven months ago. In the time since, the
battle lines have been drawn, the relevant case law marshaled, and the legal
arguments refined. Almost everyone agrees that the Constitutionality of the Act is
an issue that will ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court of the United
States. It is very important to everyone in this country that this case move forward as soon as practically possible.”