Judges Suggest They May be Ready to Declare Obamacare Unconstitutional
The latest round in the fight over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was held Wednesday in the federal appeals court in Atlanta.
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on whether to reverse a Florida judge’s ruling that struck down the law. The judges seemed receptive to arguments from critics challenging the health reforms as unconstitutional during the three-hour hearing.
Some 26 states opposing the law and an alliance of small businesses argue that Congress didn’t have the power to require virtually all Americans to maintain health insurance. The Justice Department says the legislative branch exercised its “quintessential” right.
A three-judge federal appeals court panel in Cincinnati heard arguments last week about whether the law’s mandate to buy health insurance went beyond congressional authority, and a federal appeals court based in Richmond, Va. heard oral arguments May 10 in another legal challenge to the law.
Lawyers on both sides have said the cases ultimately will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the appeal court panel’s decision in Atlanta is being closely watched and could help shape the debate.