Appeals court to hear health care overhaul lawsuit

By GREG BLUESTEIN | June 4, 2011 | 11:29 AM EDT

ATLANTA (AP) — An Atlanta federal courtroom will soon become the latest battlefield in the ongoing fight over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Wednesday on whether to reverse a Florida judge's ruling that struck down vast portions of the law.

Attorneys representing 26 states challenging the law will face off against lawyers for the Justice Department, which claims the legislative branch had the authority to enact the changes.

Two similar lawsuits are pending in Virginia. Three federal judges have upheld the law and two have invalidated it. Lawyers on both sides have said the cases ultimately will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.