“Twenty-six states together had challenged the mandate, arguing that Congress had exceeded its authority by imposing such a requirement. But the Obama administration had argued it was legal under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. A federal judge in Florida sided with the states and struck down the entire law, leading the administration to appeal. A divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit found that it did not pass muster under that clause or under the power of Congress to tax. The administration has said the penalty for not buying healthcare coverage is akin to a tax.
“This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them repurchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives,” the majority said in its 207-page opinion.
That opinion was jointly written by Judges Joel Dubina, who was appointed to the appeals court by Republican President George H.W. Bush, and by Frank Hull, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.”