A federal judge declared the Obama administration's health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia's attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson is the first federal judge to strike down the law, which has been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan. Several other lawsuits have been dismissed and others are pending, including one filed by 20 other states in Florida.
Virginia Republican Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli filed a separate lawsuit in defense of a new state law that prohibits the government from forcing state residents to buy health insurance. However, the key issue was his claim that the federal law's requirement that citizens buy health insurance or pay a penalty is unconstitutional.
Hudson, a Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush, sounded sympathetic to the state's case when he heard oral arguments in October, and the White House expected to lose this round.