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Federal judge dismisses health care challenge

A judge for the US District Court for the District of New Hampshire [official website] on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit [text, PDF] that challenged the constitutionality of the new health care law [JURIST news archive]. District Court Judge Joseph Laplante held that the plaintiff, 80-year-old Harold Peterson, lacked standing [AP report] because his Medicare coverage automatically satisfied the law's insurance mandate. The complaint alleged that the law [HR 3590 text] violates a list of Constitutional clauses, including the Commerce Clause [Cornell LII backgrounder] and the Fifth Amendment [text] for taking one's privacy without due process or just compensation.

On Thursday, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit [official website] denied [order, PDF; JURIST report] the petition for initial hearing en banc in the health care reform law appeal, but confirmed that the appeal will nonetheless be expedited. Oral arguments are currently scheduled for June 8 before a randomly-selected three-judge panel. Last month, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli filed a petition for a writ of certiorari [JURIST report] with the US Supreme Court [JURIST news archive] asking the court to rule on the constitutionality of the law on an expedited basis, before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit rules on the issue, but the Obama administration opposes the petition [JURIST report]

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