MIAMI, Jan 31 (Reuters) – A Florida judge could on Monday become the second U.S. judge to declare President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law unconstitutional, in the biggest legal challenge yet to federal authority to enact the law.
The judge, Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, was expected to rule on a lawsuit brought by governors and attorneys general from 26 U.S. states, almost all of whom are Republicans. Obama is a Democrat.
The plaintiffs represent more than half the U.S. states, so the Pensacola case has more prominence than some two dozen lawsuits filed in federal courts over the healthcare law.
No specific time has been given for Vinson’s ruling, which was unlikely to end the legal wrangling over the contentious reform law, which could well reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
But an aide said he was determined to issue his opinion in the course of Monday on the suit filed on March 23, 2010, just hours after Obama signed the reform into law.