A U.S. judge on Monday refused to dismiss the state of Virginia's challenge to President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law, a setback that will force his administration to mount a lengthy legal defense of the overhaul effort.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cucinelli earlier defended the state's lawsuit at a Tea Party rally this way, "This isn't about health care; it's about liberty."
Attorneys General from Virginia and 13 other states have filed suit to not enact the legislation in their states. Their cases center on the individual mandate.
Polling has indicated that popular opposition to the health-care law has waned.
*** UPDATE *** NBC's Pete Williams reports that this is a tactical victory for Virginia. The Justice Department asked the judge to throw the suit out, arguing that the state had no legal standing to sue.