By JENNIFER HABERKORN | 6/29/11
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the health reform law’s controversial requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance, marking a significant win for President Barack Obama in the legal battles over his signature legislation.
The ruling by a three-judge panel — 2-1 in favor of the mandate — is the first from an appeals court on the constitutionality of the law.
The panel included two Republican nominees, who ended up on opposite ends of the opinion. Jeffrey S. Sutton, a George W. Bush nominee and a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia, is the first Republican-nominated judge to rule in favor of upholding the mandate.
“We find that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause,” Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr., who was nominated by Jimmy Carter, wrote for the majority.