Federal Judges Raise Various Concerns about Obama’s Healthcare Law

Federal Judges Raise Various Concerns about Obama’s Healthcare Law

10/13/2011

 

A number of concerns were raised Friday by a conservative-leaning panel of federal appellate judges regarding President Obama’s healthcare overhaul, but suggested that the challenge to it may be a little bit too early.

The arguments at the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington concerning a lawsuit against the signature domestic legislative achievement of the Obama administration centered on whether Congress has overstepped its authority in requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or pay penalties on their taxes starting 2014.

However, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who used to be one of George W. Bush’s top aides and was appointed by the former president to the bench, said that his “main concern” is that the courts might not be able to decide on the constitutionality of the law until the year 2015. This is because a federal law disallows most challenges to tax-related measures before the tax or penalty is paid.

That particular law was cited by a federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, when it junked another legal challenge to the healthcare overhaul. Two other appeals court reached differing conclusions, with one declaring the law as unconstitutional, and the other saying it is constitutional.

Legal observers have been expecting the United States Supreme Court to weigh in and decide to review the legislation before an opinion is issued by the Washington circuit court.

The Washington lawsuit was filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, which is a legal group founded by renowned evangelist Pat Robertson, on behalf of five Americans who opted not to purchase health insurance because of their holistic approach to medical care.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com