Also on September 14, the healthcare reform lawsuit filed by the Attorneys General of 20 states against the federal government appeared ready to move forward – at least in part. Following oral arguments, it was reported that U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson stated that he would probably dismiss part of the suit, but not all of it. He was reportedly not specific about what portions might not be dismissed, but if such a scenario occurs, it would represent a victory for the states that have challenged the constitutionality of the new healthcare law’s requirement that all Americans obtain insurance and that the Medicaid program be expanded.
Officials from the Obama Administration have previously expressed confidence that they will win in court, and according to the Associated Press, the Justice Department stated during oral arguments that if Judge Vinson does uphold the 20-state challenge, he would be overturning 75 years of law that has affirmed the government’s ability to regulate interstate commerce.
Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida – who is leading the 20-state effort – stated that he believes Judge Vinson will be finished with the suit either by the end of 2010 or by early next year, at which time he believes the losing side will appeal the ruling and the case may end up before the United States Supreme Court.
The Judge’s formal ruling is expected by October 14.