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Round 1 in health reform appeals goes to Obama

From the New York Times:

The Obama administration prevailed Wednesday in the first appellate review of the 2010 health care law as a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that it was constitutional for Congress to require that Americans buy health insurance.

Again, this isn’t the final word from the courts on health reform– two other federal appeals courts are set to rule soon, and the issue will almost certainly be decided by the Supreme Court.

Still, this case was important, because it’s the first time that a ruling on health reform hasn’t followed party lines. In every other hearing, judges appointed by Democrats have ruled in favor of the new law, while Republican appointees rule against. But in this latest decision, a Republican judge appointed by George W. Bush, who clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia (arguably the most conservative Supreme Court justice), upheld the law’s constitutionality.

For more, Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, has a great analysis of the legal issues.

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