President Barack Obama gestures during an event in the East Room of the White House to honor NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson for his fifth consecutive championship on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) (AP)
Federal court tosses lawsuit over health reform
Three-judge panel in Virginia backs constitutionality of Affordable Care Act
A federal appeals court in Virginia has dismissed two lawsuits that had claimed President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was unconstitutional.
The unanimous decision was issued Thursday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It is the second appellate court ruling affirming the government's right to require individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. A federal appeals court in Cincinnati also upheld the law, but an appeals court in Atlanta struck down the insurance mandate.
Two of the judges on the Virginia panel were appointed by Obama, the other by Bill Clinton. They rejected claims by the state's Republican attorney general and Liberty University that the insurance mandate is unconstitutional.
More than 30 lawsuits have been filed over the law.