In Atlanta, Georgia, a divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) so-called individual mandate requiring all Americans must carry health insurance or face financial penalties.

The judges ruled that a provision in the ACA law requiring citizens to buy health insurance is unconditional, but did not change other provisions in the rest of the law including: Medicare coverage to seniors or coverage to children until the age of 26.

The Federal Appeals court sided with the 26 states that filed a lawsuit to block the federally mandated healthcare initiative.

"This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority," the panel said represented by Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull. “What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the court opinion said.

The lone dissent came from the Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus.

The Justice Department argued that the legislative branch was exercising its power to regulate interstate business. Its “quintessential” rights.

During oral arguments in June, the three-judge panel repeatedly raised questions about the overhaul and expressed unease with the insurance requirement. Each worried if upholding the landmark law could give to Congress the power to make other sweeping economic mandates.

But the Panel didn't go as far as a lower court in Florida that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

In January Judge Roger Vinson, of Florida ruled that it's unconstitutional to require people to purchase health insurance. And if the so-called "individual mandate" provision in the law cannot be removed from the rest of the ACA "the entire Act must be declared void."

The 26 states opposed to the Affordable Care Act Law urged the 11th Circuit to uphold Vinson's ruling, saying in a court filing that letting the law stand "would imperil individual liberty, render Congress's other enumerated powers superfluous, and allow Congress to usurp the general police power reserved to the states."

The federal government will now have to petition for certiorari which the losing party files with the Supreme Court asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a lower or to ask the full appeals court to review the case.