Gibbs: Healthcare law is constitutional

The White House on Monday dismissed a federal judge’s ruling that a critical part of President Obama’s healthcare law is unconstitutional.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House was not surprised to learn of the ruling striking down the individual insurance mandate, and that the Justice Department will likely appeal.

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"Our belief is that the healthcare act will go forward, and that it is constitutional," he said.

Gibbs noted there have been three federal court rulings on challenges to the law, and two of the three have upheld it as constitutional.

There are about 20 challenges still making their way through the courts. Gibbs said "it's safe to say" that the healthcare law "will continue to have its day in court."

Gibbs refused to assign political motives to Judge Henry Hudson, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

"I don't think the ruling or how he decided … was a surprise to anybody," Gibbs said.