Court tosses Virginia challenge to healthcare law

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 08, 2011 12:29 PM
Court tosses Virginia challenge to healthcare law

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday threw out Virginia's challenge to the constitutionality of the healthcare overhaul signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama last year.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by a lower court judge that the federal government could not compel people to buy health insurance, known as the individual mandate.

Virginia had contended that this provision conflicted with a state statute, giving it standing to challenge the federal law. But the 4th Circuit disagreed, and directed the lower court to dismiss the case because it lacked jurisdiction.

Many legal scholars expect one of the several lawsuits challenging the health care law to reach the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2011-12 term that begins in October.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)