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Judge in Virginia rules for Obama on health care

By Bill Mears, CNN Senior Producer
  • Judge says decisions affect "interstate health care market"
  • Mandating coverage is permissible, judge rules
  • There are a variety of rulings in different federal courts

Washington (CNN) -- A federal judge in Virginia has ruled in favor of the Obama administration over the sweeping health care reform measure.

Judge Norman Moon Wednesday issued a 54-page ruling in Liberty University v. Geithner that the mandate requiring all Americans to obtain health insurance coverage by 2014 is constitutionally permissible.

He said government authority to oversee "individuals' decisions about how and when to pay for health care are activities that in the aggregate substantially affect the interstate health care market."

This ruling further muddles the judicial landscape over various state and individual challenges to the law. A federal judge in Michigan had earlier preliminarily upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama last year. But federal judges in Florida and Virginia have issued preliminary decisions raising strong doubts about the government's authority to mandate the purchase of insurance coverage.