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By Jane Norman, CQ HealthBeat Associate Editor

A federal district court in Ohio ruled in favor of the health care law on Tuesday, saying it was bound by a decision in favor of the law’s constitutionality made by the Circuit Court of Appeals in the 6th District a week ago.

The Obama administration said the order represents more good news for backers of the law (PL 111-148PL 111-152). The June ruling was the first decision by an appeals court on the constitutionality of the health care overhaul.

U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr., of the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division, said that the 6th District court was bound by the 2-1 ruling in favor of the U.S. government in a case filed by the Thomas More Law Center of Ann Arbor, Mich. (Seerelated story, CQ HealthBeat, June 29, 2011).

The decision in the Thomas More case found that “the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause,” Dowd said.

Lawyers for the center have said they will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The high court is expected to make the final ruling on the law, in either that case or others, depending on which cases it accepts.

The Ohio federal court case was filed by the U.S. Citizens Association, which says its mission includes challenges to unconstitutional laws and promotion of the virtues of conservatism. The district court in February had dismissed three other counts of the plaintiffs’ complaint.

Read the Judge’s ruling here.

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