Virginia Lawsuit: Federal Health Reform Law Faces Early Constitutional Test

The Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog: District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson said Thursday that "he will decide whether to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Virginia challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law within 30 days, providing an initial legal test in the landmark suit." He also heard oral arguments in the case, which revolve around "whether Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has standing to sue on behalf of Virginia over the provision of the law that requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, and whether Congress has the constitutional power to enact that mandate." Afterward, Cuccinelli said he thinks the suit "has a 'better than ever' chance for success." Meanwhile, "Justice Department lawyers declined to comment" (Helderman, 7/1).

Bloomberg: "Virginia claims that a requirement that people buy health insurance exceeds Congress’s powers under the Constitution, while the U.S. counters that requirement is allowed under its commerce powers as a result of the $43 billion absorbed by the market each year" (McQuillen, 7/1).

The Associated Press: "The hearing was held the same day a new state law takes effect exempting Virginia residents from being required to have health insurance, which is a key part of the federal law" (O'Dell, 7/1).

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