Court seeks briefs in health care lawsuits

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The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond is seeking more information from the state, Liberty University and the federal government before it will rule on two Virginia-based lawsuits challenging the federal health care overhaul.

A three-judge panel, which heard the two cases earlier this month, has directed the parties to submit briefs by May 31 regarding jurisdictional matters. Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II’s office is responding to three follow-up questions, said spokesman Brian Gottstein.

In one case, the federal government is appealing a ruling striking down the law’s requirement that individuals buy health insurance or pay a penalty. In the other case, Liberty University is appealing another judge’s ruling upholding the law. The two Virginia lawsuits are among 31 that have been filed seeking to invalidate the law.

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