White House Says It Will Implement ObamaCare Despite Judge's Declaration that His Ruling Against It Is 'Equivalent of Injunction'

February 7, 2011 - 7:34 PM

Robert Gibbs

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answers questions at a daily press briefing. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Washington (CNSNews.com) – White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNSNews.com today that the administration will "rightly" continue to implement the Obamacare law even though the federal judge who sided with 26 states in declaring it unconstitutional said that his ruling was “the functional equivalent of an injunction” against the law.

In his ruling last week, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida wrote that in his opinion an injunction is an extraordinary measure, particularly when a ruling is against the federal government.

The ruling said an injunction would be an extraordinary measure. “It is even more so when the party to be enjoined is the federal government, for there is a long-standing presumption ‘that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result, the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction,’” it said.

However, Gibbs said that other court rulings were in the administration’s favor.

“There are many courts that have heard many cases on this. More than 12 have dismissed the case,” he told CNSNews.com. “Two have ruled in our favor as to its constitutionality. Two have ruled against us. Implementation of the health care bill rightly continues to move forward as the law of the land.”

A total of 27 states – a majority of the 50 states – have sued to have the law declared unconstitutional. Virginia brought its own case against the federal law, while 26 states led by Florida brought a separate case.

In both cases involving states, courts declared the law unconstitutional, with a primary focus on the individual mandate.

Last year a federal judge in Michigan found that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional, and later, a federal judge in Virginia dismissed a separate lawsuit brought by Liberty University that challenged its constitutionality, the White House has noted. In other cases, the courts dismissed cases or determined that plaintiffs lacked standing.

Gibbs referenced two states that are moving forward with implementing the law despite the litigation.

“Despite the attorney general’s participation in the lawsuit, the state of Wisconsin announced that implementation moves forward,” Gibbs said.

“I would point out that one of the state houses in the commonwealth of Virginia passed by a vote of 95-3 to begin setting up health care exchanges,” he added.