David J. Shestokas
March 4, 2011
On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson declared Obamacare unconstitutional. The Dept. of Justice didn’t understand and asked the judge to clarify.
On March 3, 2011, Judge Vinson did in fact clarify his ruling of January 31 . In a 20 page opinion he reviewed his reasons for finding the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Just as importantly he reviewed his reasoning for not issuing a “stay”. (The judge’s original ruling is discussed in detail with discussions of the legal concepts of stay and injunction at US Asks Clarification of Unconstitutional in FL Obamacare Case .) He gave the government something it did not ask for, a short term stay, providing the government filed an appeal within seven days.
Original Ruling Declaring “Individual Mandate” Unconstitutional Easy to Clarify
In his March 3rd opinion  Judge Vinson took but two sentences to “clarify” what he meant on January 31:
“So to “clarify” my order and judgment: The individual mandate was declared unconstitutional. Because that “essential” provision was unseverable from the rest of the Act, the entire legislation was void.”