The Associated Press is reporting that a federal judge declared the foundation of President Barack Obama's health care law unconstitutional Monday, ruling that the government cannot require Americans to purchase insurance. The case is expected to end up at the Supreme Court. In his order, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said that he will allow the law to remain in effect while appeals are heard, meaning there is unlikely to be any immediate impact on other provisions that have already taken effect. The insurance-coverage mandate is not scheduled to begin until 2014. Hudson is the first federal judge to strike down a key part of the law, which had been upheld by fellow federal judges in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and still others are pending, including one filed in Florida by 20 states. White House health-reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle said that the administration is encouraged by the two other judges who have upheld the law. She said the Justice Department is reviewing Hudson's ruling. We're not surprised by the ruling, considering that the 4th Circuit is stacked with Republicans. We do find it ironic that on the same day President Obama signs the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 into law, Judge Hudson would strike down part of a law that will help keep kids healthy.
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