By Rebecca Blatt
Virginia's lawsuit challenging the national health care reform law has cleared its first legal hurdle.
A federal judge is refusing to dismiss the case.
Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argues Congress exceeded its authority by passing the health reform law.
He says a federal mandate requiring citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause.
In Richmond today, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson denied the Justice Department's motion to dismiss the case.
More than a dozen other state attorneys general have filed a separate lawsuit in Florida challenging the federal law, but Virginia's is the first to go before a judge.
The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation this year exempting state residents from the coverage mandate.