When Attorney General Jim Hood was asked to file a lawsuit on behalf of Mississippi against Obamacare, he said back in April of this year it was unlikely a court would find Obamacare beyond the scope of the Commerce Clause:
Given the extremely broad scope of Congress's commerce power under existing case law from the last sixty years, it is unlikely the a court would find the Act with its regulated activity of healthcare and health insurance to be beyond that authority....After hours of research, the consultation with constitutional law scholars, and a review of actions of other states' Attorneys General on the health care reform legislation, we have found no authority to support a suit.Now that unlikely federal court has ruled. The court ruled:
At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate....no specifically articulated constitutional authority exists to mandate the purchase of health insurance....an individual's personal decision to purchase - or decline to purchase - health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause...On care review, this Court must conclude that Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision - exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.Governor Haley Barbour said:
The decision of the federal court in Virginia is encouraging to all of us who consider the Obamacare law unconstitutional; however, we know the case will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.The Virginia Attorney General has asked the Supreme Court to rule on this directly rather than going first through an appeals court. If it goes to the Supreme Court, will Jim Hood finally get on board? In his letter to Governor Haley Barbour mentioned above, Hood said:
If some viable cause of action arises during the years of litigation, it would be much cheaper for the state of Mississippi to wait to join the suit when it gets to the U.S. Supreme Court.It has been months not years, but maybe that won't discourage Hood.