On October 7, 2010, a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that a provision of the health care reform law requiring all individuals to maintain health insurance or pay a penalty was constitutional. The suit, filed by conservative public interest group the Thomas More Law Center on the same day President Barack Obama signed the bill into law, argued that the mandate that all individuals carry health insurance is unconstitutional. Judge George Steeh found that Congress has the constitutional authority to require all individuals to buy health care insurance through the Commerce Clause. Steeh also found that a penalty against those who do not have health insurance would not be an unconstitutional direct tax. The ruling was upheld on appeal by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, a ruling which was later contradicted by a ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, requiring resolution by the US Supreme Court.
Learn more about the litigation surrounding health care reform from JURIST Features.