For months, progressives smugly labeled the legal challenges to ObamaCare as "silly" or even "frivolous." Today their confidence must be severely shaken.
Late Monday afternoon in Pensacola, Fla., U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson delivered the second major judgment that the centerpiece of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the "individual mandate" that forces Americans to buy health insurance whether or not they want it—is unconstitutional.
In December, District Court Judge Henry Hudson ruled against the mandate in a separate lawsuit brought by the state of Virginia. But Judge Vinson's sweeping and powerfully reasoned decision this week went much further, striking down the entire health-reform law on the grounds that the individual mandate was not severable from the rest of the statute. And the plaintiffs in Judge Vinson's courtroom included the attorneys general of 26 states, not just one. His opinion thus casts a dark shadow over ObamaCare until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling on the matter.