A federal appeals court in Virginia threw out two challenges to the Obama administration's 2010 health-care law, saying it lacked authority to decide whether the measure is constitutional.

With the decisions, the court in Richmond today became the second U.S. appellate panel this year to leave the law intact after lower court judges ruled on its constitutionality. The decisions came in separate cases challenging the statute's requirement that individuals buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. A third appeals court threw out that mandate.

The rulings broaden the range of opinions on the health-care law among the intermediate federal courts, a division likely to be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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