Battle Over Health Law Moves To Atlanta Courtroom
The oral arguments heard Wednesday in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals may represent the most significant legal challenge to the sweeping health overhaul, which was signed into law last year.
The New York Times: Judges Weigh Limits Of Health Law's Powers
In perhaps the weightiest of the dozens of challenges to the Obama health care law, a panel of appellate judges grappled Wednesday with the essential quandary of the case: if the federal government can require Americans to buy medical insurance, what constitutional limit would prevent it from mandating all manner of purchases and activities? (Sack, 6/8).
Los Angeles Times: Judges Sharply Challenge Healthcare Law
If the Obama administration had any doubt that its signature healthcare law faces a severe challenge in court, it was erased soon after Chief Judge Joel Dubina opened the proceedings here. "I can't find any case like this," Dubina said. "If we uphold this, are there any limits" on the power of the federal government? (Savage, 6/8).
The Washington Post: Legal Battle Over Obama's Health-Care Law Moves To Atlanta Courtroom
Lawyers for the 26 states challenging the constitutionality of the nation's new health-care law squared off against the Obama administration in an appeals court in Atlanta on Wednesday, where a panel of three judges asked tough questions of both sides. One judge, Frank M. Hull, appeared more sympathetic to the law - at one point interrupting an attorney for the states to tell him that his central argument "doesn't get me very far" (Aizenman, 6/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Judges Offer Mixed View On Health Law
A federal appeals court Wednesday took up the most significant legal challenge to last year's health law, with judges giving mixed signals on the central issue of whether it was constitutional to require people to carry insurance or pay a penalty (Adamy, 6/9).
The Associated Press: US Judges Seem Receptive To Health Care Challenge
Judges on a federal appeals court panel on Wednesday repeatedly raised questions about President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, expressing unease with the requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance or face penalties (Bluestein, 6/8).
PBS NewsHour: 26 States Challenge Health Care Law In Court
It is the most significant challenge to the law, seen by many as the president's signature domestic policy achievement. Judge C. Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida overturned the new law in its entirety in January. He argued the individual mandate is unconstitutional -- and that the provisions requiring the individual mandate could not be severed from the rest of the law. The 25 states joining Florida in this lawsuit are: Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Georgia, Alaska, and -- as of January 19 -- Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Maine, Iowa, and Wyoming. The National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals have also signed on (Clune, 6/8).
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Judges Grill Both Sides In Health Care Face-Off
Three federal judges in Atlanta on Wednesday gave a cool reception to the idea that the government has the power to require Americans to buy health insurance. But they also asked sharp questions of those opposing the individual mandate and did not tip their hands on how they will rule. For nearly three hours, the appeals court panel -- two Democratic appointees and a Republican appointee -- heard arguments about whether President Barack Obama's health care law violates the Constitution. The most controversial provision is the requirement that nearly all Americans purchase a minimum level of insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty (Rankin, 6/8).
NPR: Appeals Court Hears 26-State Challenge To Health Law
Atlanta was today's host city for the latest skirmish in the battle over last year's federal health overhaul, as the measure went before a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (Rovner and Elliott, 6/8).
Kaiser Health News: 'Cautious,' 'Even-Handed' Hearing For Health Law In Atlanta Appeals Court
Kaiser Health News staff writer Bara Vaida talked with Alyson M. Palmer, a legal reporter in Atlanta, about Wednesday's oral arguments in an appeal related to the multi-state challenge to the overhaul (Vaida, 6/8).
CNN: Lawyers Go Toe To Toe Over Health Care Law
Attorney Paul Clement, representing the state of Florida, argued that the federal government can't force people to buy a product in this case, insurance. "In 220 years, Congress has never seen fit to use this power." U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal, defending the law, had a more complex case to make that people without insurance are already part of the health care market part of interstate commerce except that when they end up needing care they don't pay for it. The appeals court judges two appointed by President Bill Clinton, and one by President George H.W. Bush asked sharp questions of both sides. Judge Stanley Marcus walked Katyal through a careful hypothetical: If the government can compel people to buy health insurance, can it compel them to buy long-term insurance, too since few people carry it, and the costs of long-term care can be very high (Hellerman, 6/8)?
McClatchy / The Miami Herald: Health Care Law Is 'Unconstitutional,' Opponents Say
Attorneys for 26 states, led by Florida, argued that the federal healthcare law provision that forces people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional. The Obama administration disagrees. Florida's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care law moved to a federal appeals court Wednesday, where a trio of judges grilled President Barack Obama's top lawyer and repeatedly questioned whether Congress can force people to buy health insurance (Zink, 6/9).
The News Service Of FLorida/Health News Florida: Federal Appeals Court Hears Fla. Health Care Challenge
With Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Attorney General Bill McCollum sitting at the front of the ornate courtroom, lawyers for opponents said it is unprecedented for Congress to force Americans to buy a product such as health insurance. They disputed that the U.S. Constitution's allows such power. "They (uninsured people) are not engaged in commerce,'' said Paul Clement, a lead attorney for the opponents, which also include 25 other states. "They're sitting in their living rooms. They're not doing anything" (Saunders, 6/8).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Three-Judge Appeals Panel Dissects Health Care Mandate
A panel of three federal judges indicated Wednesday that they may be prepared to declare at least part of last year's health care law unconstitutional, tossing a barrage of skeptical questions at a top Obama administration lawyer. The judges in Wednesday's hearing did not state plainly that they would overturn the law, but all three asked -- more than once -- about whether the law's requirement that nearly everyone buy insurance by 2014 could be struck down while the rest of the law was upheld. The questions suggested at a minimum that the judges were thinking hard about declaring the mandate unconstitutional (Savage, 6/8).
National Journal: Judges Question Mandate During Arguments In Health Care Law
Wednesday's hearing is the third time in the past two months that federal appellate courts have considered a constitutional challenge to the health care law. It is arguably the highest profile case, with 26 states challenging the federal law. The case is widely expected to reach the Supreme Court. According to the AP, the judges expressed unease over the law's health insurance requirement. Chief Judge Joel Dubina, nominated by President George H.W. Bush, asked, "If we uphold the individual mandate in this case, are there any limits on congressional power?" Circuit Judges Frank Hull and Stanley Marcus, both appointed by President Clinton, asked similar questions later on (McCarthy, 6/8).
Politico: Panel Ponders Striking Individual Mandate
A federal appeals panel asked pointed questions Wednesday about how much of President Barack Obama's health care law would have to be struck down if they ruled that its individual insurance mandate is unconstitutional. But the three 11th Circuit Court of Appeals judges also were receptive to the government's argument that the health care market is different from all others and needs that kind of regulation - giving the law's supporters some hope that the appeals panel would side with them (Haberkorn, 6/8).