The Justice Department asked Vinson to clarify his ruling that struck down the law as unconstitutional. Justice must file its brief on the motion by Monday, and Vinson has said he would rule quickly after that. At issue is whether Vinson meant to stop reform implementation in the 26 states that brought the suit.
The smart money says Vinson will halt implementation, and legal observers are wondering why Justice would take that risk.
“Having lost one game of chicken when it came to the severability of the mandate, the government is now challenging the same judge to back down on whether his decision is binding. Seems like a risky move,” said Randy Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown University.