Critics of President Obama’s health care overhaul will have little to cheer from the arguments heard in a federal courtroom Tuesday of the first two cases to reach appellate judges in the nationwide fight against the controversial 2010 law.

All three judges from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond expressed varying degrees of skepticism over the presentation made by a law school dean who argued the law’s individual and employer mandates violate the Constitution.

A ruling upholding the law, expected in the next couple of months, will certainly give a shot of confidence to the Obama administration but will have to be tempered because, as one of the judges noted Tuesday, the final fate of the measure will come from the Supreme Court.

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