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US district judge Henry Hudson, who in December ruled that part of President Obama's healthcare reform laws were unconstitutional. Bob Brown/AP

Obama’s healthcare plan set for first federal appeal

A three-judge panel will hear arguments on whether to overturn a ruling which found ‘Obamacare’ to be unconstitutional.

President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul gets its first federal appeals court test in Virginia today.

A three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear oral arguments in the State of Virginia’s lawsuit challenging the healthcare laws, which were passed by Congress in March 2010.

The federal government is appealing US district judge Henry Hudson’s ruling, issued in December, which struck down the law’s provision requiring individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Hudson found the mandate to be unconstitutional.

The same three-judge panel will also hear arguments in a similar challenge by Liberty University. In that case, US district judge Norman Moon ruled that the insurance mandate was a proper exercise of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause.

The two Virginia lawsuits are among 31 that have been filed seeking to invalidate the controversial law.


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