Federal Appeals Court Upholds Health Law
The majority decision, issued by a three-judge panel from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, included the support of a Republican appointee to the federal bench -- the first to affirm the individual mandate's constitutionality.
The New York Times: Round 1 In Appeals Of Health Care Overhaul Goes to Obama
The Obama administration prevailed Wednesday in the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law as a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans buy health insurance (Sack, 6/29).
Los Angeles Times: Appeals Court Declares Health Law Constitutional
Notably joining the majority opinion was Judge Jeffrey Sutton, an appointee of President George W. Bush and a former law clerk to conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Sutton is the first Republican appointee on the federal bench to affirm the constitutionality of the so-called individual mandate (Levey and Savage, 6/30).
The Washington Post: Appeals Court Upholds Health-Care Law's Individual Mandate
In backing the individual mandate, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in Cincinnati became the first appellate court to rule on President Obama's signature domestic initiative. The decision also marked the first time a Republican-appointed judge has sided with the administration in evaluating the law's constitutionality (Markon, 6/29).
The Wall Street Journal: Appeals Court Says Health Law Is Constitutional
A federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the 2010 health-care law Wednesday, handing the Obama administration its biggest victory yet as challenges to the president's signature initiative advance toward the Supreme Court. The decision, from the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, marked the first time a Republican-appointed judge has found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act constitutional, after federal district courts hearing separate challenges divided along partisan lines (Bravin, 6/30).
Politico: 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals Panel Upholds Individual Mandate
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the health reform law's controversial requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance, marking a significant win for President Barack Obama in the legal battles over his signature legislation. The ruling by a three-judge panel - 2-1 in favor of the mandate - is the first from an appeals court on the constitutionality of the law. The panel included two Republican nominees, who ended up on opposite ends of the opinion. Jeffrey S. Sutton, a George W. Bush nominee and a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia, is the first Republican-nominated judge to rule in favor of upholding the mandate (Haberkorn, 6/30).
The Hill: Court Rules Health Care Reform Law Is Constitutional, Upholds Mandate
Supporters of health care reform won their biggest court decision yet on the constitutionality of the new law - and they won it with help from a judge who has strong conservative credentials. A panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Wednesday that Congress has the power to make most people buy insurance. It was a clear win for supporters of the health care law, especially because it's the first ruling on the mandate from a federal appeals court (Baker, 6/29).
Marketwatch: Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Health Reform
The three-member panel determined that a lower-court ruling on a lawsuit brought by the Thomas More Law Center should be upheld, validating the Affordable Care Act's constitutionality. Congress determined that it has the power to enact such a law under the commerce clause, which regulates interstate activity. "Thomas More argues that the minimum coverage provision exceeds Congress's power under the Commerce Clause because it regulates inactivity. However, the text of the Commerce Clause does not acknowledge a constitutional distinction between activity and inactivity, and neither does the Supreme Court," the appeals court said. "Furthermore, far from regulating inactivity, the provision regulates active participation in the health care market" (Britt, 6/29).
Fox News: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Obama Health Care Law
President Obama's controversial health care law got a major boost Wednesday when the first ruling by a federal appeals court affirmed that Congress can require Americans to have minimum insurance coverage. A conservative law center had challenged the measure, arguing on behalf of plaintiffs who said potentially being required to buy insurance or face penalties was subjecting them to financial hardship. They warned that the law was too broad and could lead to more federal mandates (6/29).
NPR: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Health Care Law
Though other federal appeals courts are expected to rule on the law soon, Wednesday's decision took on a special importance because one of the judges upholding the law, Jeffrey Sutton, is a prominent conservative. Appointed to the appeals court by President George W. Bush in 2003, Judge Sutton is no ordinary conservative. He served as a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia, an icon of the conservative movement. And, as a litigator, he was at the forefront of making modern states' rights arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court. But in this case, he rejected similar arguments in the context of the national health care law (Totenberg, 6/29).
PBS Newshour: Health Reform Law's Supporters Encouraged By Appeals Court Ruling
Judge Jeffrey Sutton joined with Judge Boyce Martin Jr. - a more liberal member of the Sixth Circuit - in backing the legal viability of the mandate. The Thomas More Law Center had appealed an earlier ruling on the case in Michigan. Attorneys for the Center argued - as many opponents have - that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to regulate economic "inactivity," or in this case, to compel people to purchase a product because of its potential economic impact of NOT buying insurance (Jacobson, 6/29).
CQ HealthBeat: A Surprise Ally Takes The Stage In Overhaul's Legal Drama: A Conservative Judge
One of the two appeals court judges who upheld the constitutionality of the health care law Wednesday is a pillar of conservative thought appointed by a Republican president, thrilling supporters of the overhaul who now see a much smoother road ahead to the Supreme Court and beyond. But there were also suggestions that Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton left some wiggle room in his take on the law and that he raised the prospect that suits against it could succeed even after the measure goes into effect in 2014. That would be a blow to backers who would like to see a finite end to the legal wrangling so implementation can continue unabated (Norman, 6/29).
Kaiser Health News has a scorecard of the status of all the health law court challenges.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.