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U.S. Justice Department to appeal healthcare ruling

12-15-2010 08:19 BJT

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that it intends to appeal a federal court's ruling against a key part of the Obama administration's healthcare law.

"Virginia's suit is based on a state statute that is not applicable nationwide, and the department believes this case should follow the ordinary course of allowing the courts of appeals to hear it first so the issues and arguments can be fully developed before the Supreme Court decides whether to consider it, " Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson, a Republican appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled on Monday that the healthcare law's requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional.

This is the first federal court to strike down the law. In two other lawsuits in Virginia and Michigan, federal judges upheld the same provision.

Schmaler's statement was a refusal to some Republicans' calls that the lawsuit should be sent directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing the appeals court to make the process less time- consuming.

The latest court's ruling ignited a new wave of debate on the constitutionality and reasonability of the sweeping healthcare law, which President Barack Obama signed in March.

In an op-ed article on Tuesday's Washington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services, said "the attacks are wrong on the law, and if allowed to succeed, they would have devastating consequences for everyone with health insurance."

On the other hand, Republicans argued that the individual health coverage requirement impinges upon citizen's freedom engraved in the Constitution.

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: Xinhua

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