WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has turned down the first preliminary challenge to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The decision Monday to reject an appeal from a former Republican state lawmaker in California was no surprise because a federal appeals court has yet to consider the case. The high court almost never reviews cases before the issues have been aired in lower courts.

Of more significance is the indication that all the justices took part in rejecting the appeal. New Justice Elena Kagan refused to say during her confirmation hearings whether she would take part in the court's deliberations over the health care law. Kagan was Obama's solicitor general before joining the court.