On November 30, 2010, a judge for the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia dismissed a lawsuit brought by Liberty University challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as well as its requirement that employers offer health insurance to their employees. Liberty University also claimed the PPACA violates its religious beliefs because penalties levied against violators of the individual mandate can be used to fund abortions. However, Judge Norman Moon ruled that the PPACA does not violate the Commerce Clause. Liberty University subsequently appealed the decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which vacated the lower court's ruling and dismissed the case in September 2011, ruling that the case was filed prematurely. Liberty University petitioned the US Supreme Court for review in October 2011.