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Entries in Court of Appeals (1)

Tuesday
Nov082011

DC Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law

Photos.com/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In a victory for the Obama administration, the D.C. Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of a key provision of the health care law.

The 2-1 decision is sure to embolden the Obama administration because it was written by Laurence H. Silberman, a Ronald Reagan appointee, who is considered one of the leading conservative jurists on the bench.

At issue before the three-judge panel was the individual mandate, a central provision of the Affordable Care Act, which requires individuals to buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty.

“The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local – or seemingly passive – their individual origins,” Silberman wrote.

He was joined in the decision by Judge Harry T. Edwards, a Carter nominee.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who cast the dissenting vote, was appointed by George W. Bush; he said he would have dismissed the case on jurisdictional issues.

Simon Lazarus, of the Public Policy Counsel to the National Senior Citizens Law Center, a supporter of the law, called the decision “the best day for the Affordable Care Act has had in Court so far.”

The D.C. Circuit becomes the third court to reject the challenges to the law.  Only the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down the mandate.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss the various challenges to the law behind closed doors on Thursday.

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