Judges of both parties will hear appeal of high-profile health law challenge

The Obama administration can expect tough questioning from the three appeals judges chosen Wednesday to hear the multi-state challenge to the healthcare reform law.

Unlike the three Democratic appointees who heard the first appeals arguments in Richmond earlier this month, the 11th Circuit panel includes judges appointed by presidents of both parties. The Atlanta-based court is slated to hear appeal arguments June 8.

The 26-state lawsuit was filed in Florida the day healthcare reform was signed into law and is seen as the highest-profile challenge to the law's requirement that everyone buy insurance. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled earlier this year that the mandate and, as a result, the whole law are unconstitutional.

The judges are: 

• Chief Judge Joel Dubina, a George H.W. Bush appointee; 

• Judge Frank Hull, a Bill Clinton appointee; and

• Judge Stanley Marcus, a Clinton Republican appointee.

Also Wednesday, the states filed their reply brief in the multi-state case.