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Second Appellate Panel Hears Arguments on Healthcare Law

On June 1, a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati appeared to be ready to...
June 7, 2011

On June 1, a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati appeared to be ready to rule on the constitutionality of a provision of President Obama's healthcare law that would require uninsured Americans to purchase medical coverage. But it had difficulty agreeing on whether the plaintiffs still have the legal standing to bring the case to court after one disclosed that she had recently purchased health insurance from her employer.  The hearing is the second by appellate court involving a challenge to the new healthcare law.  Five district court judges have ruled on the issue, and three have upheld the constitutionality of the law while two have thrown out all or part of the law.

The Supreme Court is expected to make the final decision on whether Congress exceeded its authority to regulate interstate commerce in enacting the Obama healthcare reform.  The Sixth Circuit panel is considered as less friendly to the Obama Administration than the panel from the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, which heard the appeal of a ruling against the insurance mandate in May.  That panel consisted of three judges appointed by Democratic presidents, including two appointed by Obama.

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