Appeals court upholds health care law - USATODAY.com
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld the government's new requirement that most Americans buy health insurance, in the first decision by a U.S. appeals court on the centerpiece of the Obama-sponsored health-care overhaul.
The ruling by the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit gives the administration a significant victory. Yet the 2-1 panel decision marks what is likely to be the first in a series of appeals court rulings in upcoming months. Ultimate resolution of the politically charged dispute is likely to come from the U.S. Supreme Court sometime next year.
Wednesday's decision, however, is the most significant to date, because it is the first by an appeals court and constitutes the first time that a Republican-appointee has voted to uphold the law.
Prior rulings were issued by district court judges, on the first rung of the U.S. judiciary, and in all of those, GOP-appointed judges had struck down the mandate that Americans buy insurance by 2014 and Democratic-appointee had found it constitutional.
In Wednesday's case, Judge Boyce Martin, named by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, and Judge Jeffrey Sutton, an appointee of Republican President George W. Bush, joined together for the panel majority to declare the individual-mandate provision a valid use of congressional power.