Durbin to chair hearing on healthcare law's constitutionality


A federal judge in Florida on Monday became the second to rule the individual mandate unconstitutional, but he struck down the entire law, saying the mandate is too central to making the law function.

Prominent Republicans such as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Minnesota Gov. Tin Pawlenty praised the judge's ruling. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) also applauded the decision and reiterated calls for the legislation's repeal.

“This health care law remains a major source of uncertainty for small businesses, which is why all parties involved should request that this case be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court for a swift and fair resolution," Boehner wrote in a statement. "Of course, the easiest way to protect the American people from this job-destroying health care law is to repeal it so we can start over with common-sense reforms that lower costs and protect jobs without unconstitutional mandates, new taxes, and costly penalties."

Earlier this month, the GOP House voted to repeal the law, but any similar effort in the Senate is expected to be blocked.

Boehner added, "I hope Senate Democratic leaders will bring up the measure for an up-or-down vote."