RICHMOND, VA (RNN) - A Virginia judge struck down a portion of the health care law that requires an individual to purchase health insurance or face a penalty.
U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson ruled in a Richmond, VA, court Monday that that portion of the law is unconstitutional.
The mandatory coverage law was not scheduled to take effect until 2014.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed the lawsuit challenging the law.
The ruling will be appealed by the Obama administration, said Cuccinelli, in a statement issued on his official website.
"This won't be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court," he said. "But today is a critical milestone in the protection of the constitution."
Hudson is the first judge to strike down the law, which had been upheld by two others in Virginia and Michigan.
Twenty-five similar lawsuits are pending across the country, including one in Florida in which 20 states are a party.
Cuccinelli has called the victory a celebration of the same principles our founding fathers articulated over 200 years ago.
"We are proud to defend their work and the same first principles today in the 21st century," he said.