Appellate Court Says VA Lacks Standing to Challenge ACA

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has vacated a district court’s ruling that a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. The Fourth Circuit Court ruled that the state of Virginia does not have the standing to challenge the ACA.

On the same day President Obama signed the ACA into law, Virginia’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit claiming the law’s “individual mandate” provision, which requires individuals who fail to maintain adequate health insurance coverage to pay a penalty, was unconstitutional because it conflicts with the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act (VHCFA), a law the declares that no Virginian can be required to obtain individual insurance coverage. A district court ruled in favor of Virginia.

On September 8, 2011, the Fourth Court of Appeals vacated the district court’s ruling, dismissing the case for “lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.”

This is the third appellate court to rule on this constitutionality of the healthcare reform law. It is likely that the argument will make its way to the Supreme Court.