From the Wall Street Journal:
A divided U.S. appeals court in Atlanta ruled Friday that a key provision of last year’s federal health-care overhaul is unconstitutional, siding with a group of 26 states that challenged the law.
The 2-1 ruling marks the Obama administration’s biggest defeat to date in the multifront legal battle over the health-care law.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Congress exceeded its constitutional powers when it required individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty.
The decision affirmed part of a January ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida, who ruled the health-insurance mandate unconstitutional.
The appeals court, however, overturned the portion of Judge Vinson’s decision that voided the entire health-care law. The court said the unconstitutional insurance mandate could be severed from the rest of the law, with other provisions remaining “legally operative.”
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