The business group which helped lead the charge to get President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform act declared unconstitutional by a federal judge in Florida is crying foul over the administration’s request for clarification of the judge’s ruling.
In January, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for Northern Florida ruled that the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and should be “declared void.” Vinson, however, fell short of stopping the law’s implementation immediately, as requested by a group of plaintiffs including 26 business groups, states and Pam Bondi, the attorney general of Florida.
The ruling led to Florida returning federal funds intended for the implementation of Obamacare there. Several other states are also demanding that the law be considered void unless overturned on appeal, prompting the Obama administration to ask the court for clarity on its ruling.
In a brief filed with the court yesterday, the National Federation of Independent Business called the Obama legal team’s request for clarification “inexplicably delayed” and said the judge shouldn’t comply.
“The defendants’ motion is, in fact, a transparent attempt, through the guise of seeking clarification, to obtain a stay pending appeal,” they wrote. “The court’s ‘declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction’ because ‘there is a long-standing presumption that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the Court.'”
The NFIB is a “nonprofit, non-partisan organization founded in 1943,” according to its website. It also lobbies on behalf of small businesses in Washington, D.C., through its foundations and political action committee.
Another court weighed in on healthcare reform yesterday, when Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected a challenge by the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group started by right-wing icon and former Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson.
Kessler’s ruling moved the score to 3-2 in favor of the law in five federal court challenges.