By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer
May 10, 2011 2:36 p.m. EDT
Richmond, Virginia (CNN) -- A federal appeals court panel expressed strong support Tuesday for the sweeping health care reform bill championed by President Barack Obama. It was the first appellate hearing on the law's constitutionality
All three judges hearing the case, named to the bench by Democratic presidents, suggested the law is valid, despite objections from the state as well as private groups and individuals.
Past court rulings have affirmed "the significant federal authority in health care" said Judge Diana Gribbon Motz.
Judge Andre Davis said, "There was no doubt the individual mandate was necessary to Congress' mandate" in the area of reform legislation, calling the question a "slam dunk" in the federal government's favor.
Federal appeals judges show support for health care reform law - CNN.com