The Obama administration’s legal defense of its health-care overhaul got a mixed reception from a federal appeals court here Wednesday, as judges grappled with the constitutionality of the law’s requirement that individuals carry health insurance or pay a penalty.

But the court expressed concern that procedural problems with the case might prevent it from making a ruling at all, questioning whether the plaintiffs had standing to sue.

During 90 minutes of oral arguments, a three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals pressed lawyers for both the Obama administration and the challengers in the case, four individuals from Michigan and the Thomas More Law Center, a conservative legal organization.

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