A third federal appeals court has declared President Obama’s health law to be constitutional. The influential District of Columbia court says Congress’s powers over interstate commerce give it the means to require individuals to buy health care or face a financial penalty. “The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute, and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems, no matter how local—or seemingly passive—their individual origins,” wrote Reagan appointee Laurence Silberman.
A Carter appointee joined in the 2-1 decision, opposed by a George W. Bush appointee. The Supreme Court—several of whose justices, including John Roberts, have worked at the DC court—will this week review court cases over the law as it decides whether to hear the matter, and odds are good that it will, the Wall Street Journal notes. Of four US appeals courts to hear the health case, only Atlanta’s court has ruled the law unconstitutional. The administration has appealed that ruling. (Read more US Appeals court stories.)