As previously reported here, Senior United States District Judge Roger Vinson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida declared the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) void in a summary judgment decision in the case of State of Florida, et al. v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. The ruling held that PPACA is unconstitutional because it requires that all citizens purchase federally approved health insurance or pay a monetary penalty beginning in 2014 (the “Individual Mandate”) and that the Individual Mandate is not severable from the remainder of PPACA. Last week, Judge Vinson stayed his ruling pending appeal, conditioned upon the defendants filing their notice of appeal by March 10, 2011 and seeking an expedited appellate review.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Labor, filed a notice of appeal in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit will review the appeal.
To date, four other United States District Courts have ruled on the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate (see, Liberty Univ., Inc. v. Geithner, F. Supp. 2d (W.D. Va. Nov. 30, 2010); Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, 720 F. Supp. 2d 882 (E.D. Mich. 2010) Virginia v. Sebelius, 728 F. Supp. 2d 768 (E.D. Va. 2010) and Mead et al. v. Holder, et al., F. Supp. 2d (D.D.C. Feb. 22, 2011). Three of the cases have upheld the constitutionality of the Individual Mandate and one held the Individual Mandate unconstitutional. Three of these cases are currently being appealed.