Critics of Federal healthcare reform won a small battle in Virginia on Monday when a United States District Court judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the recently passed measure.
The lawsuit—which was filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli soon after Congress passed the legislation—argues that the Federal government does not have the authority to require Americans to pay a penalty if they refuse to purchase health insurance, according to The Associated Press (AP).
In his ruling, Judge Henry Hudson dismissed the Obama administration’s attempt to squash the lawsuit, suggesting that the law may violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.
"Unquestionably, this regulation radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America," Hudson wrote in his 32-page ruling.
"While this case raises a host of complex constitutional issues, all seem to distill to the single question of whether or not Congress has the power to regulate—and tax—a citizen’s decision not to participate in interstate commerce," he added.
Hudson’s ruling suggests that the Obama administration may be in for several long and expensive legal battles, as Virginia is one of many states to file a lawsuit against the Federal government after healthcare reform legislation was passed.
A second hearing on the case has been tentatively scheduled for later this year.