The White House called Monday's health care ruling "unconventional," critiquing federal Judge Roger Vinson's analysis as "out of the mainstream."
"This judge is the outlier on not only doing a very expansive ruling but declaring that implementation must stop," a senior administration official said on a conference call with reporters Monday afternoon.
Administration officials painted Vinson as a tea partier, basically, accusing him of using political rhetoric in his decision.
"It seems that this sort of political...rhetoric takes up more space here," another senior administration official said, asserting that Vinson used "rhetorical conjecture" that "oftentimes...makes oral arguments quite vivid [but] makes for surpassingly curious reading on the printed page."
At the heart of the administration's complaint is Vinson's choice of cases to cite as relevant precedent.
For instance, a senior administration official said, Vinson ignored two cases cited prominently with regard to the individual mandate. Wickard v. Filburn dealt with the government preventing a farmer from growing wheat for personal consumption, citing Commerce Clause authority to regulate activity that affects the wheat market. Raich v. Gonzales dealt with the federal government's seizure of marijuana grown for personal medical consumption in California. Both are seen by legal experts as relevant case law on Commerce Clause authority to regulate markets, distinctions between economic activity and inactivity, and broad applications of regulatory authority over inactivity that affects a market. Vinson, a senior administration official complained, ignored both.