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Supreme Court upholds health care law, mandate in 5-4 ruling

In a landmark opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal health care law – including the provision requiring individuals to purchase health care insurance.

In a divided ruling penned by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the Court held that the mandate was within Congress’ taxing power– as opposed to its Commerce Clause power, which was the main thrust of the Obama administration’s argument.

The Court also held that the Medicaid expansion in the law is constitutional, but that the federal government may not withhold funding to states for failing to comply with the expansion provisions.

In an unrelated and odd twist, the Court dismissed as improvidently granted the case asking whether plaintiffs could bring REPSA claims absent a showing of actual injury – 213 days after the case was argued. It was predicted that a ruling in First American Financial Corp v. Edwards, would have had far-reaching impact on civil litigation.

The Court also struck down the Stolen Valor Act as violative of the First Amendment.

Much, much more to come on today’s activities at the Court on Lawyers USA.

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