The U.S. Justice Department filed an appeal with U.S. District Judge C. Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, to overturn his decision of January 31 striking down President Barack Obama’s health-care reform legislation. Their appeal submission comes two days before a deadline imposed by the judge last week, when he put on hold enforcement of his ruling.
In January, Vinson became the second federal judge to find unconstitutional a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requiring almost every person in the U.S. to obtain insurance coverage starting in 2014.
“The sooner this issue is finally decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, the better off our entire nation will be,” Vinson said in a March 3 ruling responding to a U.S. request he clarify the scope of his earlier decision.
Obama signed the legislation on March 23, 2010. That same day, lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the measure were filed by the attorneys general of Florida and Virginia.
The Florida case, begun by then-Attorney General Bill McCollum, was joined by 25 other states.