Posted on 02 Aug 2010
A federal judge Monday refused to dismiss a Virginia lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health-care law, handing the law's foes their first victory in a courtroom battle likely to last years.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson rejected arguments from Obama administration lawyers that Virginia has no standing to sue over the law and no chance of ultimately prevailing in its constitutional claim.
The lawsuit, lodged by Virginia Republican Attorney Gen. Ken Cuccinelli II, argues that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority when it included a provision in the law mandating that citizens purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine.
Cuccinelli filed the suit moments after President Obama signed the sweeping health-care bill into law, citing the federal law's conflict with a new Virginia statute that made it illegal to require state residents to purchase health insurance.
The ruling is only a procedural step, paving the way for a full hearing on the legal arguments of the issue in the same Richmond courtroom in October.