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Federal judge rules health reform is Constitutional Posted: October 7th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

A ruling from a federal judge on Thursday, October 7, 2010 dismissed claims that health reform provisions violate the Constitution. U.S. District Court Judge George Steeh cited the U.S. Commerce Clause as he upheld the health insurance mandate scheduled to go into effect in 2014.

A group of five plaintiffs, led by the Thomas More Law Center, had sued and asked for an injunction to prevent health reform provisions from becoming effective. The group argued the mandate is an unconstitutional extension of federal power. The suit also claimed that the use of federal dollars to fund procedures such as abortions was a violation of taxpayer rights.

In upholding the law, Judge Steeh wrote in his decision, "The minimum coverage provision, which addresses economic decisions regarding health care services that everyone eventually, and inevitably, will need, is a reasonable means of effectuating Congress's goal."

The Thomas More Law Center has announced its intent to appeal the decision. The suit is just one of many legal challenges facing health reform. Other legal action is pending, including a lawsuit in Florida submitted on behalf of 20 states.