In a lengthy decision in Florida v. DHHS yesterday, a judge in Florida ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, including 26 state attorneys general, that all provisions of PPACA are unconstitutional, as they exceed Congress’ authority.
First, the court decided that the individual insurance mandate went beyond the appropriate scope of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. The court had earlier decided that there was enough question about PPACA’s constitutionality to avoid early dismissal.  Now it has made its final conclusion that the legislation is unconstitutional.  This decision is in line with one case out of Virginia, and is contrary to decisions out of Michigan and a different case from Virginia, as we reported earlier.
In an unusual move, the court went on to decide that the individual mandate was central to passage of the remaining parts of PPACA and that the unconstitutional portion could not be severed from the rest of the law, so the entire statute was held to be unconstitutional.  This is the first court to strike PPACA in its entirety based on the individual mandate.
The other cases continue through the appellate process.  As reported in SSD’s Sixth Circuit Blog, the Thomas More Law Center case before the Sixth Circuit was already proceeding through briefing, with numerous “friend of the court” briefs being filed by various interested entities.  It is likely that this case may be the first case to be heard on appeal.
As noted by commentators, the issue will certainly be up in the air until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the subject.  Depending on the speed at which the appeals courts progress, the Supreme Court might hear the case as early as 2012.