Vinson Delays HCR Challenge Ruling until Appeals Over

March 3, 2011 ( – A federal judge who has already struck down the health-care law as unconstitutional has now put his ruling on hold until the issue wends its way through the federal appellate court system.

A Reuters news report said U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ordered the government to seek an expedited hearing of Vinson’s ruling within a week. The January 31 ruling favored arguments by 26 states that requiring Americans to buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty was unconstitutional (see Florida HCR Challengers Win on Commerce Clause Argument).

In his order on Thursday, Vinson said the highly politicized case is expected to eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. “It is very important to everyone in this country that this case moves forward as soon as practically possible,” he wrote.

Vinson’s latest ruling was prompted by a government request that he clarify his intention about whether the health-care law should be implemented during the appeal process, a move that drew a sharp rebuke from one state offical (see States Try to Block HCR Challenge Ruling Clarification Effort ).