Judge grants stay to his own ruling against healthcare reform

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson has issued a clarification regarding his recent ruling that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional--one that requires the states continue implementation of healthcare reform, reports the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press.

Vinson, who presides from the federal bench in Florida, issued the ruling in response to a request from Obama Administration attorneys who wanted clarification as to whether implementing healthcare reform should be allowed to continue until the constitutionality of the law is decided in federal courts.

"It would be extremely disruptive and cause significant uncertainty" to halt the implementation of the reform law, Vinson wrote. At the same time, he rebuked the administration's lawyers for seeking a clarification of his initial ruling rather than filing a motion to put it on hold.

Vinson also ruled that the if Obama Administration does not file an appeal to his initial ruling within seven days, the states should consider the entire law invalid. He ruled in January that the law was an unconstitutional overreach in regulating commerce, particularly the portion that all Americans be required to purchase healthcare insurance.

Several states have sued in federal court to block implementation of healthcare reform, and legal experts believe the U.S. Supreme Court eventually will hear the case.

For more information:
- read the Wall Street Journal story
- check out the Associated Press article