Thursday, March 10, 2011

Judge Issued Order Staying Execution Of Earlier Order Declaring Individual Mandate Provision Of The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (PPACA) Was Unconstitutional

On March 3, Judge Roger Vinson issued an order staying for seven days the execution of his earlier order declaring that the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was unconstitutional. (State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DC FL 3/3/2011), 107 AFTR 2d ¶2011-537) The stay was conditional upon the defendants filing their notice of appeal within seven calendar days and seeking an expedited appellate review by either the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. In his January 31 order, Judge Vinson declared the remainder of the PPACA void because it was not severable. Judge Vinson wrote that his earlier declaratory judgment “was expected to be treated as the’practical' and’functional equivalent of an injunction' with respect to the parties in this litigation,” adding that “[f]or the defendants to suggest that they were entitled (or that in the weeks after my order was issued that they thought they might be entitled) to basically ignore my declaratory judgment until’after appellate review is exhausted' is unsupported in the law.” The judge laid out the parameters for making his decision. When considering whether to grant a stay pending appeal, “courts should generally examine four factors: (1) whether the appellants have made a strong showing that they are likely to prevail; (2) whether appellants will be irreparably injured if a stay is not granted; (3) whether granting the stay will substantially injure the other parties interested in the proceeding; and (4) where the public interest lies.” Judge Vinson stressed the importance of swiftly proceeding with this case, writing that “almost everyone agrees that the constitutionality of the act is an issue that will ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court.”

No comments: