On September 8, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia issued rulings on two appeals. They dismissed lawsuits by the State of Virginia and Liberty University that challenged the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) individual mandate.
Both cases were dismissed on procedural grounds, so the court did not consider the constitutional challenges to the individual mandate in the PPACA. So don’t believe what you hear that the courts ruled on the issue of constitutionality in these cases.
In the State of Virginia case, the court ruled that the state did not have the legal right to challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Virginia was challenging the individual mandate on the grounds that Virginia has a state law that individuals cannot be forced to buy health insurance.
In the Liberty University case, the court ruled that a federal tax law prevented them from considering the case because the mandate imposes a tax that has not yet been collected.
In June, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate. In August, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ruled it unconstitutional. This issue is expected to eventually be decided by the Supreme Court.