WASHINGTON — The Obama administration pushed back forcefully on Monday afternoon against a Florida judge’s ruling that its signature health care law was invalid, calling the judgment a legally “dubious” reading of the law.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, outgoing senior adviser David Axelrod accused Judge Roger Vinson of judicial overreach for concluding that the health care law’s individual mandate was both unconstitutional and not severable from the rest of the legislation — meaning the entire law had to be tossed.
“I’m not a lawyer,” said Axelrod, from a makeshift office in the West Wing. “But I will tell you that I think that many lawyers are very dubious about that. The role of the courts is not to look for expansive opportunities to invalidate an act of Congress — it is to rule narrowly as possible and leave intact the intent of the legislation. So I’m sure that will be a matter of intense discussion and debate as this case moves forward in the courts.”