RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) – Because only the residents of Virginia will be affected by the controversial part of ObamaCare, the State – through Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli – lacked standing to challenge it, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision Thursday that overturns a prior ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, who had agreed with Cuccinelli that a mandate included in federal health care reform is unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit wrote that the mandate does not affect the state Cuccinelli represents.

"(T)he sole provision challenged here – the individual mandate – imposes no obligations on the sole plaintiff, Virginia," Judge Diana Gribbon Motz wrote. "Notwithstanding this fact, Virginia maintains that it has standing to bring this action because the individual mandate allegedly conflicts with a newly enacted state statute, the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act."

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