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HomePatriot DispatchesJudge Vinson sentences America to two-years of ObamaCare

Judge Vinson sentences America to two-years of ObamaCare

“Clarification” order scolds DOJ to hurry up, then gives license to implement a law he deems unconstitutional

The only hope We the People had of preventing the solidification of socialized medicine pending a definitive ruling on President Barack Obama’s signature hope and change law no less than two years from now by the nation’s highest court, died last week at the hands of the man that had threatened to kill the administration’s assault on private health insurance dead in its tracks.

Federal U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson declared the entire health care bill unconstitutional, null and void on January 31, thus presenting the prospect that before the tentacles of the federal government could wrap themselves around one-sixth of the U.S. economy it would have to first prove its case to at least five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

A month passed in which several of the 26 State plaintiffs in the Florida case declared they would no longer implement the law Judge Vinson declared unconstitutional as Attorney General Eric Holder treated the 78-page order as no more consequential than a New York Times op-ed. Last month, Obama’s Department of Justice interrupted their contempt of Vinson’s jurisprudence by adding insult to injury with a motion to “clarify”, rather than take the usual course and ask for a “stay” of the ruling.

Sadly, Judge Vinson rewarded Obama’s contempt by issuing as un-asked for stay that essentially sentences the United States to unconstitutional governance for up to two years:

Judge Vinson filed a 20-page opinion today responding to the motion seeking clarification, and I find it pretty remarkable. I think it’s fair to say that Judge Vinson was not happy with DOJ. First, much of the new opinion is written as a rather defensive summary of his earlier opinion and, at times, a response to critics. Vinson then decided on his own to treat the motion for clarification as a motion for a stay, and then he granted his motion for a stay with an important condition: DOJ must file its appeal in seven days, and DOJ must then request an expedited appeal in the circuit court. This seems pretty unusual to me, given that DOJ wasn’t even seeking a stay from Judge Vinson. The pace of appellate litigation is normally up to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, the litigants, and the Court of Appeals judges — not a district court judge.

Conservatives are supposed to be happy that the good judge harshly scolded Holder’s lawyers and required that they file an “expedited” appeal. Given all the legal maneuverings available in appeals to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Vinson may have trimmed a few weeks off a process that will likely last for no less than 18 months.

All that really matters in the order is the following:

Therefore, the defendants’ motion to clarify (doc. 156) is GRANTED, as setforth above. To the extent that motion is construed as a motion to stay, it is also GRANTED, and the summary declaratory judgment entered in this case is STAYED pending appeal, conditioned upon the defendants filing their notice of appeal within seven (7) calendar days of this order and seeking an expedited appellate review.

Maybe Judge Vinson knew that the 11th Circuit would have issued a stay, and so was doing what he thought was the best he could do under the circumstances. But it is not his job to help plaintiff lawyers along the appeals process.

His job was to pass judgment on the constitutionality of ObamaCare and prescribe a remedy appropriate to that determination.

Judge Vinson determined that the federal government hasn’t the power to regulate health care by forcing Americans to buy a private insurance policy or be fined. Yet, he decided its OK  for them to implement an unconstitutional law pending appeal.

Judge Vinson let us down.

Mike DeVine

Legal Editor - The Minority Report

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist for Examiner.com

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern Conservative, Hillbilly Politics, Unified Patriots,  Political Daily and Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at Townhall.com.

www.devinelawvista.com

Mike gamecock DeVine
A trial lawyer for two decades in South Carolina; owner of Ati Vista LLC since 2002 now associated with Lupa Law Firm; VP & Counsel for Buddy Allen Roofing & Construction Inc. since 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia; and a freelance writer, DeVine was the conservative voice of the Charlotte Observer from 2006-8 and has been the owner of HillbillyPolitics.com since 2009. www.devinelawvista.com

27 COMMENTS

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27 COMMENTS

    • Any of the 26 states could ask the 11th Circuit to remove the stay, but that is unlikely. What should have happened is that Judge Vinson should not have issued the stay and Obama’s lawyers should have had to ask the 11th Circuit for as stay. We have the better argument that given the unconstitutional question, that its best not to implement the law until it clears the courts. Vinson caved. Maybe because he knew the 11th wouldn’t issue a stay and so he wanted to do his best to speed up the process, but his ability to do so is just a matter of weeks at the most.

    • The last paragraph declares his ruling stayed “pending appeal” so long as they file the appeal w/i 7 days:

      “Therefore, the defendants’ motion to clarify (doc. 156) is GRANTED, as set
      forth above. To the extent that motion is construed as a motion to stay, it is also
      GRANTED, and the summary declaratory judgment entered in this case is STAYED
      pending appeal, conditioned upon the defendants filing their notice of appeal within
      seven (7) calendar days of this order and seeking an expedited appellate review.”

      Therefore, the stay stays unless and until a higher court removes it. Yes, the reporting on this legal matter is woeful as usual. That’s one reason I took my first column writing job in Atlanta 10 yrs ago. Everyone has been cheerleading over the strong language aimed at DOJ lawyers and the supposedly onerous 7-day expedited appeal requirement. Let the cheering stop. Vinson essentially set a $1 bail, get out of jail free card for ObamaCare to be implemented for two years.

      • So they just have to file an appeal in the 7 days and can then drag this out 2 years?

        I wonder what kind of pressure the judge got after his initial ruling. Isn’t this odd that he did this? I’d think a judge would be pissed and up the ante if his ruling was blatantly ignored by the admin.

        what are the chances some other federal judge makes a ruling like Vinson’s initial?

        • Amen CC and yes, you get it. 7 days to file a peice of paper. Spit in the ocean. The only way this makes any sense is if Vinson knew that the 11th Circuit would issue a stay, and still it floors me.

      • I still think he shorted the time frame as much as he could.

        They were absolutely going to ask for a stay, they were just planning on dragging their feet longer before doing so.

        By giving them this stay on the condition that they file for expedited appeal within 7 days, he can’t require any speedier resolution than that.

        The reason we are sentenced to the beginnings of Obamacare (and I live in high hopes that it is not permanent) is that the House and Senate passed the bill and the President signed it. That’s where we screwed up.

        Vinson did the best he could with the limited power he’s been given.

        • Queen, he did not do his best. He did not have to issue the stay. Then Obama would have had to ask the 11th Circuit for a stay. But yes, too many clueless people voted democrat in 2008.

          • The stay was coming, gc. The 11th circus was not going to let the order stand. We’ve already had federal judges rule Obamacare constitutional.

            By him doing it this way, he was able to put a time limit (7 days) on it and force them to request an expedited ruling.

            The 11th circus wouldn’t have done that when they issued their stay because they WANT this in place (being rabid dems) and they know that the longer it drags out and the deeper the tentacles go, the harder it will be to undo.

  1. He folded. I have no doubt he has been under unbelievable pressure, but the hopes of a Nation resided with him and he threw in his cards. Governor Walker is in the same situation, unbelievable pressure, pray he doesn’t fold as well.

  2. We’ll know in a week, GC. I think he gave them 7 days, but also to fast-track it. If they don’t comply within the letter and the spirit of his ruling, he can withdraw the stay ab initio, I think, so let’s see. I’ll wait until next Saturday to shed tears, because, if they fast track it, it can move fairly quickly, weeks, not years.

      • I won’t dispute your analysis GC, it was excellent. But i think Vinson has another card to play…if he wants to. We’ll see in a few days. I agree with you, I wish he’d brought the hammer down right away, “It isn’t nice to toy with Mother Justice” sort of thing, but he has his reasons. Or then again, the Chicgao crowd may have pictures of him jumping out of a cake at the country club a few New Years’ Eve’s ago. I was lucky, I bought up all the negatives.

        • Yesterday’s WSJ, Opinion/Editor had a different take, one that isn’t as negative for our side. Quoting:

          The press is painting the ruling as a setback for the 26states and other plaintiffs, because Judge Vinson stayed his original ruling and allowed the law to be carried out pending appeal. But, in fact, he hardened that ruling in important ways, and Justice’s gambit gave him an opportunity to respond to this critics, which judges are rarely able to do.

          Read the whole thing here.

  3. A pen, a piece of paper and words is all Judge Vinson has; what do “we the people” have? We’ve got time. We’ve got a little money. We seem to be lacking basic Civics education and a willingness to get involved in local party politics inside the Republican Party as precinct committeemen in sufficient numbers to make a real difference, as more than half of the precinct committeemen slots, on average, in every locale in the country, are still vacant.

    “We the people,” in the end, will, or will not, take back our government. It’s clear that Opuppet and his minions will simply ignore the courts as long as “we the people” do nothing about it.

    Let me see if I can provide a short explanation of what is happening. I have just finished reading Judge Vinson’s stay ruling (and had read his original ruling when he issued it).

    First, I advised friends and anyone else who would listen that there was no better Civics lesson on how to apply Art. I, Section 8 to pending legislation than Judge Vinson’s original ruling. I told people to get out their pocket copy of the Constitution, their copy of The Federalist Papers, and Judge Vinson’s ruling and spend a couple of hours enjoying good logic, writing and historical analysis that utterly destroyed all arguments for the constitutionality of the Obamacare.

    It’s been said that the best possible judgeship is that of a federal district judge, as that lone individual can, in some instances, as Judge Vinson has, put a stop to the tyranny of the federal government. However, federal district court judges have no armies. Ordering the executive branch, a co-equal branch that is SUPPOSED TO defer to the court, to do something is one thing. Getting the federal government to actually follow an order is quite another.

    So, what happened? Judge Vinson in no uncertain terms struck down the entirety of Obamacare. He said in his original ruling he didn’t need to issue an injunction, as he pointed out that his order declaring the act void was enough, and that the govt. gave every indication in their briefing that they would comply and treat his ruling as, in effect, an injunction and cease work on implemeting Obamacare.

    They lied. And they ignored him.

    What to do? Well, judges only act when asked to. What did “we the people” do? Nothing. Did the state attorney generals run to Judge Vinson and ask for an injunction when the feds ignored his ruling that Obamacare was now void and a nullity? Nope.

    What has our new Republican-controlled House done? Nothing. Oh, they defunded Obamacare, but there’s already money in the pipeline we have learned that is being spent.

    So, let’s recap.

    “We the people” don’t seem to be too outraged.

    The attorneys general don’t seem to be too outraged (as Judge Vinson noted in his stay ruling).

    “We the people’s” congress does not seem to be too outraged.

    Judge Vinson is a lone judge. With no arsenal. Only his pen. He’s laid out the stakes — either we are going to be a nation with a federal government that has limited, enumerated powers, or we aren’t. He’s explained that he comes down on the side of the former. He’s also explained (see fn. 2 and the accompanying text and also the last few pages of the opinion where he describes what will happen at the Supreme Court) that, perhaps, despite what the Constitution clearly says, the appellate courts and the congress and executive branch will say that its words really don’t mean what they say.

    Again, it all boils down to what “we the people” do about it. And that’s what Judge Vinson is trying to say in his ruling. He’s as much as said, “I made a crystal clear ruling that the entirety of Obamacare is void because it’s unconstitutional and I’ve been ignored and nobody, not “you the people” or your elected congress or your elected state attorneys’ generals seem to care. So, are YOU going to do something about it or not? I’ve done all I could do with my pen and paper. Now the ball is in your court.”

    Then we learn this via Cubachi:

    https://cubachi.com/2011/03/06/bachmann-explains-how-105-billion-is-already-appropriated-to-obamacare/

    As I’ve been trying to explain here for over two years, it really all boils down to whether or not “we the people” are going to get involved in our local Party committees and ensure the election of real constitutional conservatives. We made a little progress in 2010. Will we make more in 2012? We’ll see. It’s really up to each one of you.

    Just writing about it isn’t going to change things at the ballot box.

    If you can get involved in local Party politics, please do.

    Will we lose our country due to a collective shrug by conservative Americans who were too busy, too important, too whatever to get involved? That may be.

    Sad.

    Thank you.

    For Liberty,

    ColdWarrior
    http://www.theprecinctproject.wordpress.com

    • Exactly on point CW. While we can debate and wage a battle of laws, enforcement of laws, constitutional enforcement, philosophy, etc….it really boils down to battle of the wills.

      The left has shown us, with enough will, they will defy laws, the constitution, common sense, etc… I kind of admire them for their tenacity and cahunas to work the system.

      Our side tends to stop at the making of a point who’s right but until recently, have had very little follow through in actions.

      • and as of late, our side is in a circular firing squad of purity instead of circling the wagons. We somehow have to unite various groups at least at the lowest common denominator for now to save this country, and agree to work out differences later.

        • But CW, VB and CC isn’t the present problem concerning what Congress is doing quite unrelated, to a great extent, to questions of activism in CHOOSING candidates or in purity tests. Given the biggest GOP election in 60 years shouldn’t we have a right to have expected the GOP House to have de-funded more things incl all of ObamaCare and called for much larger spending cuts by now? I hope that by 2014 we have replaced all establishment types with tea partiers, but I guess I just worry that too many of those elected last year will have become establishment types before 2014.

  4. Yeah, but….a filed appeal is a filed appeal and switches jurisdiction they’re dealing with. How fast could SCOTUS take this if they wanted,GC and start giving orders on briefing and hearing? It it theoretically possible we could all including Zero’s team too,,be off to the races on this?

    • Any of the 26 states could ask the 11th Circuit to remove the stay, but that is unlikely. What should have happened is that Judge Vinson should not have issued the stay and Obama’s lawyers should have had to ask the 11th Circuit for as stay. We have the better argument that given the unconstitutional question, that its best not to implement the law until it clears the courts. Vinson caved. Maybe because he knew the 11th wouldn’t issue a stay and so he wanted to do his best to speed up the process, but his ability to do so is just a matter of weeks at the most.

    • The last paragraph declares his ruling stayed “pending appeal” so long as they file the appeal w/i 7 days:

      “Therefore, the defendants’ motion to clarify (doc. 156) is GRANTED, as set
      forth above. To the extent that motion is construed as a motion to stay, it is also
      GRANTED, and the summary declaratory judgment entered in this case is STAYED
      pending appeal, conditioned upon the defendants filing their notice of appeal within
      seven (7) calendar days of this order and seeking an expedited appellate review.”

      Therefore, the stay stays unless and until a higher court removes it. Yes, the reporting on this legal matter is woeful as usual. That’s one reason I took my first column writing job in Atlanta 10 yrs ago. Everyone has been cheerleading over the strong language aimed at DOJ lawyers and the supposedly onerous 7-day expedited appeal requirement. Let the cheering stop. Vinson essentially set a $1 bail, get out of jail free card for ObamaCare to be implemented for two years.

      • So they just have to file an appeal in the 7 days and can then drag this out 2 years?

        I wonder what kind of pressure the judge got after his initial ruling. Isn’t this odd that he did this? I’d think a judge would be pissed and up the ante if his ruling was blatantly ignored by the admin.

        what are the chances some other federal judge makes a ruling like Vinson’s initial?

        • Amen CC and yes, you get it. 7 days to file a peice of paper. Spit in the ocean. The only way this makes any sense is if Vinson knew that the 11th Circuit would issue a stay, and still it floors me.

      • I still think he shorted the time frame as much as he could.

        They were absolutely going to ask for a stay, they were just planning on dragging their feet longer before doing so.

        By giving them this stay on the condition that they file for expedited appeal within 7 days, he can’t require any speedier resolution than that.

        The reason we are sentenced to the beginnings of Obamacare (and I live in high hopes that it is not permanent) is that the House and Senate passed the bill and the President signed it. That’s where we screwed up.

        Vinson did the best he could with the limited power he’s been given.

        • Queen, he did not do his best. He did not have to issue the stay. Then Obama would have had to ask the 11th Circuit for a stay. But yes, too many clueless people voted democrat in 2008.

          • The stay was coming, gc. The 11th circus was not going to let the order stand. We’ve already had federal judges rule Obamacare constitutional.

            By him doing it this way, he was able to put a time limit (7 days) on it and force them to request an expedited ruling.

            The 11th circus wouldn’t have done that when they issued their stay because they WANT this in place (being rabid dems) and they know that the longer it drags out and the deeper the tentacles go, the harder it will be to undo.

  1. He folded. I have no doubt he has been under unbelievable pressure, but the hopes of a Nation resided with him and he threw in his cards. Governor Walker is in the same situation, unbelievable pressure, pray he doesn’t fold as well.

  2. We’ll know in a week, GC. I think he gave them 7 days, but also to fast-track it. If they don’t comply within the letter and the spirit of his ruling, he can withdraw the stay ab initio, I think, so let’s see. I’ll wait until next Saturday to shed tears, because, if they fast track it, it can move fairly quickly, weeks, not years.

      • I won’t dispute your analysis GC, it was excellent. But i think Vinson has another card to play…if he wants to. We’ll see in a few days. I agree with you, I wish he’d brought the hammer down right away, “It isn’t nice to toy with Mother Justice” sort of thing, but he has his reasons. Or then again, the Chicgao crowd may have pictures of him jumping out of a cake at the country club a few New Years’ Eve’s ago. I was lucky, I bought up all the negatives.

        • Yesterday’s WSJ, Opinion/Editor had a different take, one that isn’t as negative for our side. Quoting:

          The press is painting the ruling as a setback for the 26states and other plaintiffs, because Judge Vinson stayed his original ruling and allowed the law to be carried out pending appeal. But, in fact, he hardened that ruling in important ways, and Justice’s gambit gave him an opportunity to respond to this critics, which judges are rarely able to do.

          Read the whole thing here.

  3. A pen, a piece of paper and words is all Judge Vinson has; what do “we the people” have? We’ve got time. We’ve got a little money. We seem to be lacking basic Civics education and a willingness to get involved in local party politics inside the Republican Party as precinct committeemen in sufficient numbers to make a real difference, as more than half of the precinct committeemen slots, on average, in every locale in the country, are still vacant.

    “We the people,” in the end, will, or will not, take back our government. It’s clear that Opuppet and his minions will simply ignore the courts as long as “we the people” do nothing about it.

    Let me see if I can provide a short explanation of what is happening. I have just finished reading Judge Vinson’s stay ruling (and had read his original ruling when he issued it).

    First, I advised friends and anyone else who would listen that there was no better Civics lesson on how to apply Art. I, Section 8 to pending legislation than Judge Vinson’s original ruling. I told people to get out their pocket copy of the Constitution, their copy of The Federalist Papers, and Judge Vinson’s ruling and spend a couple of hours enjoying good logic, writing and historical analysis that utterly destroyed all arguments for the constitutionality of the Obamacare.

    It’s been said that the best possible judgeship is that of a federal district judge, as that lone individual can, in some instances, as Judge Vinson has, put a stop to the tyranny of the federal government. However, federal district court judges have no armies. Ordering the executive branch, a co-equal branch that is SUPPOSED TO defer to the court, to do something is one thing. Getting the federal government to actually follow an order is quite another.

    So, what happened? Judge Vinson in no uncertain terms struck down the entirety of Obamacare. He said in his original ruling he didn’t need to issue an injunction, as he pointed out that his order declaring the act void was enough, and that the govt. gave every indication in their briefing that they would comply and treat his ruling as, in effect, an injunction and cease work on implemeting Obamacare.

    They lied. And they ignored him.

    What to do? Well, judges only act when asked to. What did “we the people” do? Nothing. Did the state attorney generals run to Judge Vinson and ask for an injunction when the feds ignored his ruling that Obamacare was now void and a nullity? Nope.

    What has our new Republican-controlled House done? Nothing. Oh, they defunded Obamacare, but there’s already money in the pipeline we have learned that is being spent.

    So, let’s recap.

    “We the people” don’t seem to be too outraged.

    The attorneys general don’t seem to be too outraged (as Judge Vinson noted in his stay ruling).

    “We the people’s” congress does not seem to be too outraged.

    Judge Vinson is a lone judge. With no arsenal. Only his pen. He’s laid out the stakes — either we are going to be a nation with a federal government that has limited, enumerated powers, or we aren’t. He’s explained that he comes down on the side of the former. He’s also explained (see fn. 2 and the accompanying text and also the last few pages of the opinion where he describes what will happen at the Supreme Court) that, perhaps, despite what the Constitution clearly says, the appellate courts and the congress and executive branch will say that its words really don’t mean what they say.

    Again, it all boils down to what “we the people” do about it. And that’s what Judge Vinson is trying to say in his ruling. He’s as much as said, “I made a crystal clear ruling that the entirety of Obamacare is void because it’s unconstitutional and I’ve been ignored and nobody, not “you the people” or your elected congress or your elected state attorneys’ generals seem to care. So, are YOU going to do something about it or not? I’ve done all I could do with my pen and paper. Now the ball is in your court.”

    Then we learn this via Cubachi:

    https://cubachi.com/2011/03/06/bachmann-explains-how-105-billion-is-already-appropriated-to-obamacare/

    As I’ve been trying to explain here for over two years, it really all boils down to whether or not “we the people” are going to get involved in our local Party committees and ensure the election of real constitutional conservatives. We made a little progress in 2010. Will we make more in 2012? We’ll see. It’s really up to each one of you.

    Just writing about it isn’t going to change things at the ballot box.

    If you can get involved in local Party politics, please do.

    Will we lose our country due to a collective shrug by conservative Americans who were too busy, too important, too whatever to get involved? That may be.

    Sad.

    Thank you.

    For Liberty,

    ColdWarrior
    http://www.theprecinctproject.wordpress.com

    • Exactly on point CW. While we can debate and wage a battle of laws, enforcement of laws, constitutional enforcement, philosophy, etc….it really boils down to battle of the wills.

      The left has shown us, with enough will, they will defy laws, the constitution, common sense, etc… I kind of admire them for their tenacity and cahunas to work the system.

      Our side tends to stop at the making of a point who’s right but until recently, have had very little follow through in actions.

      • and as of late, our side is in a circular firing squad of purity instead of circling the wagons. We somehow have to unite various groups at least at the lowest common denominator for now to save this country, and agree to work out differences later.

        • But CW, VB and CC isn’t the present problem concerning what Congress is doing quite unrelated, to a great extent, to questions of activism in CHOOSING candidates or in purity tests. Given the biggest GOP election in 60 years shouldn’t we have a right to have expected the GOP House to have de-funded more things incl all of ObamaCare and called for much larger spending cuts by now? I hope that by 2014 we have replaced all establishment types with tea partiers, but I guess I just worry that too many of those elected last year will have become establishment types before 2014.

  4. Yeah, but….a filed appeal is a filed appeal and switches jurisdiction they’re dealing with. How fast could SCOTUS take this if they wanted,GC and start giving orders on briefing and hearing? It it theoretically possible we could all including Zero’s team too,,be off to the races on this?

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