The heart of the challenge to the new federal health-care program is this image: an individual is doing nothing at all, bothering no one, when suddenly a federal bureaucrat appears and requires him or her to buy a commercial product or pay a tax. The program's opponents claim that, in the guise of regulating commercial activity, it regulates "inactivity." This, it is claimed, is unprecedented and tyrannical.
Three federal courts so far have taken a first look at the argument. One, in Michigan, rejected it. The second, in Virginia, indicated that it needs careful consideration. The third, Thursday's ruling from a District Court in Florida, bought it hook, line, and sinker.