Judge who declared Obamacare unconstitutional sends message to White House with second ruling

Roger Vinson, the U.S. federal judge who ruled Obamacare unconstitutional in its entirety, has ruled again on the health-care law. On Thursday, Judge Vinson issued a stay on his earlier ruling that the law could not be enforced. In doing so, he sent a clear message to the Obama administration: Appeal my decision to a higher court or stop implementing the law.

When Judge Vinson ruled on Jan. 31 that the health-care law was unconstitutional, the administration followed up by filing a motion for clarification rather than filing an official appeal. Vinson’s ruling criticized the administration for that action.

“During the four-plus weeks since entry of my order, the defendants have seemingly continued to move forward and implement the act,” Vinson wrote. “While I believe that my order was as clear and unambiguous as it could be, it is possible that the defendants may have perhaps been confused or misunderstood its import.”

Now, Vinson has given the Obama administration an ultimatum to either stop implementing the law, or appeal it — presumably to the Supreme Court. It is unclear what will happen if the administration ignores that order.

Following Vinson’s initial ruling, Florida and Alaska stopped implementing the law. Several other states have lawsuits pending challenging its constitutionality.