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Court delays action on healthcare request

April 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday apparently delayed action on a request for expedited action on Virginia's challenge to federal healthcare reform.

The justices considered Virginia's request behind closed doors Friday, but in an orders list issued Monday took no action. The lack of action does not mean the court will not respond to Virginia's request eventually, at the least granting or denying the request.

A federal judge in Virginia struck down as unconstitutional the law's requirement that everyone has to pay for health insurance, and a federal judge in Florida ruled the same thing, adding that since the individual mandate cannot be severed from the entire law, then the entire law must go.

At least three federal judges have ruled against separate challenges on strictly technical grounds.

Besides the Virginia suit, 25 states have joined Florida's healthcare reform challenge and Oklahoma has filed its own suit.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a victorious challenger at the trial court level, asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take the case directly, skipping the federal appeals court level.

Cuccinelli is racing Florida to get the first challenge to the Supreme Court.

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