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Virginia wants Supreme Court ruling on health care challenge

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Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said this morning that he wants to put the state’s constitutional challenge to the president’s health care overhaul on the fast track by asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the lawsuit now instead of waiting for the case to be decided by the court of appeals.

Mr. Cuccinelli said an expedited ruling is needed because the various legal challenges and recent rulings have created uncertainty for states, consumers and the businesses.

“Currently, state governments and private businesses are being forced to expend enormous amounts of resources to prepare to implement a law that, in the end, may be declared unconstitutional,” the Republican said. “Regardless of whether you believe the law is constitutional or not, we should all agree that a prompt resolution of this issue is in everyone’s best interest.”

Mr. Cuccinelli hopes the the high court will hear the case under so called “Rule 11,” which basically says the immediate review is OK “upon a showing that the case is of such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from normal appellate practice and to require immediate determination in” the Supreme Court.

“Presently, 28 states have filed suits challenging the authority of Congress to enact this law. That, in and of itself, is exceptional and makes the cases excellent candidates for immediate review in the Supreme Court,” he said,

Last month, a federal judge in Virginia struck down key parts of the health care law that Congress passed in 2009 on the grounds that Congress had stretched the Commerce Clause too far.

In the ruling, the judge said that forcing all Americans to buy health insurance “exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.”

Mr. Cuccinelli’s announcement Thursday came after a federal judge in Florida ruled Monday that Congress breached the Constitution when it passed the health care law, dealing the broadest rejection yet to President Obama’s signature initiative.

The Florida judge went further than the ruling in Virginia, saying that the individual mandate in the new law cannot be separated from the rest of the package, meaning the whole act must be struck down.

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