The first federal court ruling on the Constitutionality of the health care law is bad news for those trying to repeal it.
In Detroit today, U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh refused to issue a preliminary injunction to delay implementing the law in the state. He also dismissed the key contention of the bill’s conservative opponents: that a mandate requiring individuals to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.
“This ruling marks the first time a court has considered the merits of any challenge to this law and we welcome the court’s decision upholding the health care reform statute as constitutional,” says DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler. “The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system. The department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation.”
This lawsuit is separate from numerous federal challenges to the Affordable Care Act, including one from 20 state Attorneys General around the country. Michigan’s AG, Mike Cox, is among the plaintiffs.
The Thomas More Law Center and four other plaintiffs in this suit plan to appeal the ruling.
“Obviously we disagree with the ruling on the Commerce Clause issue,” said Robert Muise, senior trial counsel with Thomas More. “The ruling was framed quite nicely for appeal and i like our chances on appeal.”
Additional reporting by Rachel Slajda
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.