RICHMOND - Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding the ruling by Judge Henry E. Hudson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia that Section 1501, the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision, commonly referred to as the "individual mandate," of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is unconstitutional.
"I am pleased by today's ruling. Judge Hudson has clearly, and correctly, found the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution does not provide the Congress the power to mandate that an individual purchase a specific product or policy, and then exact a penalty for a failure to not make the purchase. This decision sets the correct limits on federal power in favor of individual liberty, and supports the critical tenets of federalism enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.
The inclusion of an individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act far exceeded the limited powers granted by our Founders to the federal government. For this reason, this past winter Virginia lawmakers joined together, in a bipartisan fashion, to pass the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act. I was glad to sign that legislation into law in March. I was joined at that bill signing by Virginia's Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli. This legislation gave the Attorney General the clear basis, and the obligation, to bring this challenge forward on behalf of the people of Virginia. The Attorney General has undertaken his duty with intellect, determination and a focus on ensuring that the Constitution and individual liberties are respected and upheld. I congratulate him and his excellent litigation team for today's positive decision.