02.02.2011 0

Judge Stops ObamaCare, but Who Will Stop Obama?

By Robert Romano

Less than a day after federal Judge Roger Vinson’s sweeping ruling striking down the entirety of ObamaCare as unconstitutional, the federal government has announced its intentions to move ahead with implementation of the law anyway.

“We are analyzing this opinion to determine what steps, if any — including seeking a stay — are necessary while the appeal is pending to continue our progress” in implementing the law, Justice Department Spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement.

“The White House is treating the decision like it doesn’t apply to them, and are moving ahead,” said Americans for Limited Government (ALG) Counsel Nathan Mehrens. He pointed to a blog post by White House Adviser Stephanie Cutter where ominously she declared, “Implementation will continue.”

“This is a fairly unusual a stance to take,” Mehrens said, explaining that the Administration should simply listen to Vinson unless and until his ruling is overturned. He cited Judge Vinson’s statement that there is a “long-standing presumption” that the government will follow the law as declared by the court.

The plaintiffs requested that Judge Vinson, in addition to striking down the law, also enjoin the government from implementing the law. Vinson wrote that to do so was “not necessary”. Mehrens explained, “The White House has already been told by Judge Vinson that they cannot implement this law. Vinson said that a declaratory judgment is the ‘functional equivalent’ as an injunction.”

Which means that the law cannot be implemented constitutionally under any circumstances. Mehrens said that the Obama Administration would next go back to Judge Vinson and ask him to stay the decision pending appeal. “Based on the language of the decision, however, he’s not likely to do that,” Mehrens said.

If Vinson refuses to grant a stay, then the Administration could then ask for one from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which they are appealing the ruling to. If that failed, then the Administration could not legally implement the unconstitutional law.

But, what if the Administration decided to go ahead with implementation anyway?

Mehrens said then the plaintiffs in the case could go back before Vinson and ask him to issue a writ of prohibition, an order from the judge to stop. And if the Obama Administration still insisted on moving forward?

Then, the plaintiffs would have to go up the ladder, either to the 11th Circuit or the Supreme Court, to force the Obama Administration to comply with the law. In short, to cease and desist.

“This could be the beginning of a constitutional crisis,” said ALG President Bill Wilson. “If Obama goes ahead and implements regulations on this law despite being overturned by the courts, he is setting himself up for a showdown with the judiciary, and ultimately, with the American people.”

Wilson concluded, “We’re about to find out if the rule of law will prevail, or the rule of Obama.”

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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