Judge Henry E. Hudson stated on Monday that the provision that every American must purchase healthcare by 2014 or face a federally imposed fine exceeded Congressional authority under the Commerce or General Welfare Clauses.
"It is not the effect on individuals that is presently at issue -- it is the authority of Congress to compel anyone to purchase health insurance," wrote Hudson, who was appointed to the federal bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush.The Obama Administration is expected to appeal Hudson's ruling.
"Every application of Commerce Clause power found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court involved some form of action, transaction or deed placed in motion by an individual or legal entity. The constitutional viability of the minimum essential coverage provision in this case turns on whether or not a person's decision to refuse to purchase health care insurance is such an activity," he wrote.
Hudson's eagerly awaited decision invalidates the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a federal fine. Hudson's decision is the first striking down part of the controversial legislation.
The lawsuit is just one of nearly two dozen challenges filed in federal courts across the country. Another high-profile suit filed in Florida and joined by 20 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses will go before Judge Roger Vinson on Thursday.
Earlier in the year, the states of Oklahoma, Arizona and Missouri had passed ballot measures challenging 0bamacare as well.