RICHMOND - Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement this afternoon following a ruling by Federal District Court Judge Henry Hudson on Virginia's lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the federal health care act. "I am delighted that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the provision of the federal health care bill that requires individual consumers to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.  We have always felt that this mandate was unconstitutional, and it is good to see that the trial court agrees that the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force consumers to purchase a product.

"We all recognize that this ruling is the first step in a process that will ultimately lead to the United States Supreme Court, and I join Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in encouraging the federal government to petition the United States Supreme Court to hear this case.  It is important for us to resolve this dispute as quickly as possible, and having the matter progress through the lengthy intermediate appeals process could add months of unnecessary litigation and expense to that effort.

"I want to congratulate Attorney General Cuccinelli and his staff on the outstanding job they have done in securing this positive initial result. They fully understand the important significance of the issues involved in this case, and I am confident that they will continue to prosecute the matter aggressively and to a successful conclusion.

"I would encourage President Obama and congressional leaders to take this opportunity to revisit the wisdom of the federal health care reform bill. Clearly, the individual mandate included in this law is unconstitutional. The President and Congress could eliminate the need for protracted and costly litigation by repealing this law and re-engaging in a meaningful discussion about responsible and constitutional health care reform."