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Healthcare law gets friendly reception from appeals court

Los Angeles Times, May 11, 2011

The Obama administration received a generally friendly hearing Tuesday from a panel of three Democratic appointees for its first appeals-court defense of the national healthcare law. Two of the three judges -- Andre Davis and James Wynn Jr. -- were Obama appointees, and the third, Judge Diana Motz, was a Clinton appointee. The panels are chosen randomly by computer. Lawyers for Virginia struggled to explain how the state had the legal standing to challenge the healthcare mandate on behalf of its citizens. The judges said precedent did not permit states to sue on behalf of their citizens to contest federal laws. But standing was not a problem in a second case, where lawyers for Liberty University sued on behalf of several individuals. Both lawsuits said a requirement in the new law that everyone purchase healthcare was a violation of the Constitution.