Health Law Gains Win As Court Blocks Two Legal Challenges
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals issued two opinions yesterday in which it concluded that neither the Commonwealth of Virginia nor Liberty University had legal standing to sue the government in an attempt to block the health law's individual mandate.
The New York Times: Court Blocks Suit Against Health Law
A federal appellate court in Richmond, Va., on Thursday threw out a pair of cases challenging the constitutionality of President Obama's 2010 health care law, ruling for varying reasons that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to sue (Sack, 9/8).
Los Angeles Times: Appeals Court Dismisses Challenges To Health Reform Law
A federal appeals court in Virginia on Thursday rejected two conservative challenges to President Obama's health care law, ruling that the legal dispute over the mandate to have insurance cannot be decided by judges until after 2014 when the tax penalty takes effect. The first decision overruled a Virginia judge, who was the first to declare the health care law unconstitutional, and it threw out the suit brought by Virginia Atty. Gen. Kenneth Cuccinelli on the grounds that he had no standing to sue in the first place. But the second decision could change the brewing legal battle over the health care law, which appears headed for a Supreme Court showdown early next year (Savage, 9/8).
The Associated Press: Obama's Health Care Reform Survives Va. Challenges
The federal health care overhaul survived two lawsuits dismissed Thursday on technicalities, leaving President Barack Obama's signature initiative headed toward a final resolution in the U.S. Supreme Court as early as next year. It's possible the high court could rule on the issue by June 2012, in the midst of Obama's re-election bid (9/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Court Upholds Health Law
In a unanimous opinion Thursday, a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond found that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli lacked legal standing to bring his challenge. That threw out a ruling last year by a lower court judge who said Mr. Cuccinelli was entitled to sue and found the law's requirement to carry insurance went beyond Congress's powers under the U.S. Constitution (Adamy, 9/9).
The Washington Post: Appeals Court Rejects Va. Challenge To Federal Health Care Law
In a surprise move, a three-judge panel of a federal appeals court based in Virginia has tossed out one of the most prominent challenges to the health reform law. This is the first appeals court to throw out a case for lack of standing after a lower court had ruled on the merits. It leaves the Affordable Care Act with an even scorecard in the courts, with one appeals court ruling in favor of the health care law’s constitutionality and one against it. Both cases have centered on the law's individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance beginning in 2014 (Kliff, 9/8).
CQ HealthBeat: Appeals Court Decision On Health Care Law Gives Obama A Win — With An Asterisk
A federal appeals court Thursday shunted aside two challenges to the health care law on procedural issues, leaving the Obama administration with two fewer legal headaches in implementing a law that each day comes closer to being fully in force. In a policy plus for Obama, the 4th District rulings by three Democratic appointees also give states no excuse to stall in setting up the health insurance exchanges needed for the sale of individual and small-group policies in 2014. The rulings provide no new fodder for members of Congress to renew debates over how the law might be changed. They might rob the outspoken Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, who brought one of the suits, of a forum. And they give opponents in the GOP and the business community no fresh meat in their drive for repeal (Norman, 9/8).
PBS NewsHour: Appeals Court Throws Out Health Reform Challenge
The three-judge panel — two appointed to the bench by President Obama, one by President Clinton — rejected Cuccinelli's argument that the mandate interferes with a state law protecting Virginians from being forced into buying health insurance. The court said the mandate "imposes no obligations" on the state itself and that an attorney general has no legal standing to sue on behalf of the individual citizens who will be affected. The court ruled that both cases be sent back to the district level and rejected. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Andre Davis said he wished the 4th Circuit would have considered the merits of the law itself rather than simply dismissing the cases on technical grounds. Two of the judges — Davis and James Wynn — noted that they would have ruled that the government is within its rights to implement the mandate (Kane, 9/8).
The Hill: Appeals Court Shoots Down Virginia's Health Care Challenge
The Supreme Court is almost certain to have the final say on whether the coverage mandate is constitutional. Most legal observers expect the court to hear arguments during the term that begins in October, and rule in the summer of 2012. The 4th Circuit’s long-awaited decision isn't a huge surprise: those who attended oral arguments in the suits said the judges seemed skeptical of the mandate’s critics, especially Cuccinelli. All three of the judges who heard the case were appointed by Democratic presidents, and two were appointed by Obama (Baker, 9/8).
Fox News: Appeals Court Overturns Virginia's Health Care Ruling
A U.S. appeals court handed President Barack Obama another victory for his signature health care law Thursday, rejecting challenges by the state of Virginia and others seeking to invalidate the law as unconstitutional. … While the rulings are important, they likely mean the attention will zero in on other rulings where the merits of the case were addressed. One in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the individual mandate as unconstitutional while another, in the 6th Circuit, found it was legal. "Since there are already conflicting views from appellate courts (the 11th and 6th) we believe the Supreme Court is likely to hear an appeal,'' Wells Fargo Securities senior analyst Peter Costa said in a note to clients (9/8).
Houston Chronicle: Texas Attorney General Abbot Reacts To Latest Court Ruling On Health Reform Law
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia today dismissed two challenges to the Obama health care overhaul, setting the stage for a showdown in the nation' highest court: an eventuality that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he' ready for. … "Congress exceeded the constitutional limits on its power," said Abbott, who has been an outspoken critic of the health care law. "The U.S. Supreme Court will determine the fate of the individual mandate" (Glazier, 9/8).
Kaiser Health News: Scoreboard: Tracking Health Law Court Challenges
Appeals courts have ruled on five challenges to the health law, and two more currently await appeals courts rulings. On Sept. 8, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on two challenges to the health law, brought by the Commonwealth of Virginia and Liberty University, and in both cases they vacated the district court ruling and instructed the lower court to dismiss the challenges. Kaiser Health News is tracking the status of 26 federal lawsuits seeking to overturn the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and will update those and other new cases on this page (Vaida and Eisenhower, updated 9/8).