This summer I wrote an article about constitutional challenges to the Health Care Reform Law spearheaded by the attorneys general of thirteen states. At the heart of the dispute is whether the law’s Minimum Essential Coverage Provision, which will require all citizens and legal immigrants to maintain health insurance or pay a penalty, is beyond Congress’ power.  Last month, a federal judge in Virginia ruled the law unconstitutional, holding that “the unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police power. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”

Judge Henry E. Hudson, a George W. Bush appointee, is the first judge to strike down the law which has already been held constitutional by two democratic-appointed judges.  His decision creates a clear conflict in the courts about the law’s constitutionality.  Stay tuned.