Ohio HCR Suit Partly Dismissed

November 30, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A federal judge in Ohio has tossed out parts of a legal challenge to the health care reform law, but kept alive a claim that the new law exceeds the right of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio contended that disposing of the commerce clause claim would require additional proceedings.

However, Dowd sided with government lawyers by throwing out other parts of the lawsuit, filed by the U.S. Citizens Association, that the health reform law violates plaintiffs’ “freedom of expressive and intimate association” of the First and Fifth amendments, violates the Fifth Amendment due process clause, and violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional right to privacy.

Dowd explained in his ruling that he deliberately did not author an in-depth treatment of the legal issues involved because of his judgment that the matter would have to be ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. A number of HCR challenges are pending in other federal courts around the country.

The Ohio case is U.S. Citizens Ass’n v. Sebelius, N.D. Ohio, No. 5:10 CV 1065.