Clyde Roger Vinson (born February 19, 1940) is a senior federal judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
Life and career
Born in Cadiz, Kentucky, Vinson attended the United States Naval Academy and graduated in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in engineering. He served at Naval Air Station Pensacola as a naval aviator from 1962 1968, attaining the rank of lieutenant. After his service, he attended Vanderbilt University and received his J.D. in 1971.
Returning to Pensacola, Florida, Vinson joined the law firm of Beggs & Lane, where he practiced general civil law from 1971 1983. He was nominated to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan on September 9, 1983 to a seat vacated by Lynn C. Higby, was confirmed by the Senate on October 4, and received his commission a day later. Among the notable cases he has presided over:
Vinson was chief judge from 1997 to 2004. He assumed senior status on March 31, 2005.
He was appointed to serve a seven-year term on the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Court, effective May 4, 2006. In 2009 he was installed as president of the American Camellia Society.
In 2010, Vinson was assigned to hear a case, Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, brought by a group of 26 states that was filed with support by 22 attorneys general and four governors challenging the constitutionality of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), specifically its requirement that most individuals obtain medical insurance. The suit is the second of more than 15 lawsuits filed against the act that has advanced to this stage of litigation. On January 31, 2011, Vinson ruled that the individual mandate provision of the PPACA violated the Constitution by regulating economic inactivity, and as the mandate is not severable the entire statute was ruled unconstitutional. Vinson allowed the law to stand while it is being appealed by the Obama administration.  Vinson later issued a stay to his January ruling, allowing implementation to proceed while its constitutionality was weighed.