A federal judge in Trenton, N.J., rejected a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Court rejects N.J. residents' anti-reform suit
U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson threw out the lawsuit, Purpura v. Sebelius, filed by two New Jersey residents against the law on jurisdictional grounds Thursday after finding an “absence of any facts about the effect of these harms on plaintiffs as individuals.”
“It is patently clear to this court that, contrary to what is clearly required to establish standing, plaintiffs have not alleged an injury in fact sufficient to establish standing,” she wrote.
The judge also rejected the suit's challenge to the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate, which two other federal judges have struck down and three others upheld. But Wolfson determined that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge that provision, as well, because they did not demonstrate that they would fall under the mandate by 2014. Additionally, unlike in the two federal cases where challenges to the mandate were upheld, the plaintiffs in New Jersey did not demonstrate that it will cause them “a personal and particularized injury.”
“Such a generalized type of injury flies in the face of well-established Supreme Court precedent requiring every plaintiff to demonstrate a concrete, particularized injury before he may be heard by a federal court,” Wolfson wrote.
So far, at least 24 federal lawsuits have been filed against the law. Federal judges in Florida and Virginia have upheld challenges to the individual mandate while three other district court judges rejected constitutional challenges to the law. The five earlier federal cases are all under appeal.
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