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Thursday
Oct142010

Judge Allows Suit Against Health Care Law

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A federal judge in Florida issued a ruling Thursday allowing parts of a lawsuit by 20 states challenging the recently passed health care legislation to proceed.

The two parts of the law that will proceed to trial are expansion of Medicaid and the individual mandate that requires qualifying individuals to obtain health insurance by 2014.

Of all the challenges to the health care law, this is one of the most interesting because of the number of states that have signed on.  At issue Thursday were mostly procedural matters, not the core constitutional questions.  The office of Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, who issued Thursday's ruling, said the trial is scheduled to start in early December.

Attorney General Bill McCollum, who has spearheaded the effort against the federal government, released a statement saying, “This ruling is a victory for the states, small businesses and the American people.  It is the first step to having the individual mandate declared unconstitutional and upholding state sovereignty in our federal system.”

In his ruling, Judge Roger Vinson explained, “I have not attempted to determine whether the line between Constitutional and extra constitutional government has been crossed....I am only saying...the plaintiffs have at least stated a plausible claim that the line has been crossed.”

The White House said Thursday that the ruling is "nothing new" and expressed confidence that its arguments will prevail.

"This is nothing new. We saw this with the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act -- constitutional challenges were brought to all three of these monumental pieces of legislation, and all of those challenges failed.  So too will the challenge to health reform," Stephanie Cutter, assistant to the president for special projects, wrote in a blog post.

Cutter also warned against repealing the health care bill, saying it would have "devastating consequences for millions of Americans."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio