Obama Administration Tells Third Appeals Court that Health-Care Law Must Stand
The Obama administration legal team is scheduled to request a third federal appeals court to uphold the 2010 health-care statute in what may be the culminating legal battle over the controversial law before it reaches the United States Supreme Court.
Government lawyers, in oral arguments today, will ask the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta to overturn the ruling made by a lower-court which struck down the health-care legislation of President Barack Obama.
Challenges to the law have been heard by similar panels in Richmond and Cincinnati over the weeks while individual suits make their way through the federal courts.
At the center of the dispute is a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that require nearly all Americans to have health insurance beginning 2014.
Opponents argue that Congress exceeded its mandate to regulate commerce in enjoining consumers to enter the health-care marketplace.
In the Atlanta lawsuit, the appeals court will be the first to review a decision that threw out the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in its entirety because of the coverage mandate.
In a telephone interview with University of Cincinnati law professor A. Christopher Bryant, he said “This case is really kind of the national litigation. It’s the obvious one to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.”
A total of 25 states have joined the lawsuit which was filed last year by Bill McCollum, the former Florida Attorney General and a Republican. The case, along with a separate suit which was filed by Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, who is also a Republican, was filed on March 23, 2010, or the same day that President Obama, a Democrat, signed it into law.