US District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, a Reagan appointee, agreed with the 26 states that brought the lawsuit, and said Congress cannot penalize individuals that do not buy insurance by 2014.
"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void," he declared in the ruling.
The entire law. But, he's not an activist judge or anything. The ruling itself is a joke, but it serves to assure the ruling will end up in front of the Supreme Court sooner rather than later.
In the end, this will all come down to what Anthony Kennedy feels like thinking one day. But I never want to hear the words "activist judge" out of another conservative's mouth when one man decides he can overrule Congress and the President after a year plus of deliberation and town hall meetings across the country.
Steve Benen says it best:
Indeed, overall, about a dozen federal courts have dismissed challenges to the health care law.
In other words, when you hear on the news that "courts" have a problem with the Affordable Care Act, remember that it's actually a minority of the judges who've heard cases related to the law.
Only 2 out of over a dozen judges have a problem with the law. Still, the only opinion that will count belongs to the Supreme Court.