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In Court, Virginia Argues Mandatory Health Insurance Is Unconstitutional

In Richmond, Virginia, the Obama Administration is defending the government's new healthcare law in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, before U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson.

Several states have filed lawsuits, charging that the new requirement for everyone to have health insurance is unconstitutional. This case is the first to get a hearing.

The Washington Post reports "a handful of protesters gathered ... to oppose Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's lawsuit."

State officials argued that, if Congress can require people to buy health insurance, there is no limit to federal power.

Department of Justice lawyers said that Virginia doesn't even have the right to file suit, because the requirement affects individuals, not states.

According to NPR's Julie Rovner, reporting from Richmond, the judge is expected to rule on whether the case can proceed by the end of the month.