On February 3, 2011, Judge Keith Starrett of the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (PPACA). Mississippi Lt. Governor Phil Bryant and 10 other residents filed a complaint against the law, challenging the "individual mandate" portion of the law which would force US citizens to purchase health insurance or face tax penalties. Their claim was dismissed for lack of standing under Article III of the US Constitution because it was not sufficiently imminent. The defendants were also successful in arguing that the alleged injury was too remote. In September 2011, Judge Starrett allowed another lawsuit filed by Bryant to proceed. Because of similar challenges, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of PPACA in 2012.
Read comprehensive coverage of PPACA and the controversy over health care reform in Features.