Obama's Health Bill Wins Another Round of Judicial Ping-Pong

An appeals court rejects Virginia's challenge to the health care bill

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In the health care law's ongoing game of judicial ping-pong, a federal appeals court rejected Virginia's challenge to the bill on procedural grounds on Thursday. The ruling makes for one big winner, President Obama, and one big loser, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia, who went rogue and decided to separate his suit from the 26 other states suing the government over the president's health care bill. Politico's Jennifer Haberkorn explains the win for the president.

Delivering a two-pronged win to the Obama administration, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals said Virginia has no right to challenge the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance. The court also said effectively that Liberty University couldn’t challenge the law before the mandate goes into effect...

The 4th Circuit issued by the side-by-side rulings in response to separate lawsuits brought by Virginia and the conservative Liberty University. Both cases challenged that the health law’s requirement that nearly all Americans have to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

The court said Virginia had no right to bring its lawsuit because “the sole provision challenged here — the individual mandate — imposes no obligations” on the state itself.

As for Kucinelli, libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis spells out the loss for him in a tweet. "Ken Cuccinelli decided to go it alone instead of joining the multi-state lawsuit in Florida. And he just got his butt handed to him." Still, many legal experts expect the health care bill to be decided ultimately by the Supreme Court.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.