Justices reject first healthcare challenge

Nov. 8, 2010 at 11:10 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected without comment the first challenge to reach it of the new federal healthcare law.

The rejection leaves in place a lower-court ruling that since no one had been injured yet by the law no one had "standing" to sue.

There was some speculation that new Justice Elena Kagan, formerly the Obama administration's top courtroom lawyer, would withdraw from any case challenging healthcare reform, SCOTUSBLOG.com reported. But all of the justices took part in Monday's rejection.

The case rejected by the high court attempted to raise two questions -- whether a provision that everyone have health insurance by 2014 could be challenged now and whether that provision was beyond the constitutional power of Congress, SCOTUSBLOG said.

A U.S. judge in San Diego dismissed the challenge, saying neither an employer nor an individual could as yet show an injury caused by the law -- a necessary element to challenge it. A former California state legislator and limited-government advocate, Steve Baldwin, and the Pacific Legal Institute asked a federal appeals court to reverse the judge, and at the same time asked the Supreme Court to rule without waiting for the appeals court decision.

The Supreme Court rejected a petition asking for immediate action. There were no opinions or dissents attached to the short order denying review.

Monday's action does not affect suits filed by 20 states challenging the federal healthcare law.

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