After U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson struck down the healthcare law, we discussed a curious part of his opinion where he declined to grant injunctive relief but then stated that it was not necessary because his declaratory judgment served the same function. I disagreed with that view and recently the Justice Department decided to call the bluff and ask if Vinson believed that he had barred the implementation of the law nationally. They won. Vinson ruled yesterday that the Administration could continue to implement the law — despite various states citing his opinion as the basis for refusing to work with the federal government in implementing the law.
Vinson ordered the Administration to seek an expedited appellate review within the next week.
In staying the January 31st order, Vinson wrote that “[i]t is very important to everyone in this country that this case move forward as soon as practically possible.”
Vinson made the right call here and the Justice Department made a good play with its somewhat risky motion.