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Federal Health Care Law Under Attack By 25 States

Last updated on Friday, May 27, 2011

(UNDATED) - Indiana and 24 other states return to court June 8 in their effort to invalidate the federal health care law.

The states filed their briefs late Wednesday with a federal appeals court in Atlanta. The government is appealing a ruling that requiring the purchase of health insurance is unconstitutional. But the states have filed their own appeal, on an issue where the lower court ruled against them.

The law dramatically expands Medicaid eligibility. States pick up much of the tab for that program, and the lawsuit argues it's an unconstitutional act of coercion for Congress to force them to devote that much money to it.

The states' brief argues the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled there are limits on how big a burden the federal government can impose on the states, but has never specified where the line is.

Indiana was active in crafting the states' arguments for a lower court in Pensacola, Florida, but Fisher says the states have turned over the handling of the appeal to former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who served under President George W. Bush.

The federal appeals panel in Atlanta that will hear the case includes one Hoosier. Chief Judge Joel Dubina was born in Elkhart, but went to college and law school in Alabama. He spent his entire legal career in Alabama until President George H.W. Bush promoted him to the Atlanta-based appeals court. Dubina will be joined by two appointees of President Bill Clinton.

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