Rep. Michele Bachmann beat all other presidential candidates to the punch Friday in praising the 11th Circuit Court ruling invalidating the Affordable Health Care Act's individual mandate.

"It is my hope to see this ruling will be upheld," the Minnesota congresswoman told reporters in Indianola, Iowa. "The courts now have confirmed what all of us have been saying, that the individual mandate is unconstitutional."

Bachmann used the decision to counter rival Tim Pawlenty's claims in Thursday's GOP debate that her "record of accomplishment and results is nonexistent."

The congresswoman, who opposed the measure in the House, declared that she had "helped to make that argument about the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate."

"Effectively giving a national voice to those arguments -- the court has listened to those arguments," Bachmann said.

A divided federal court in Atlanta ruled Friday that a key provision of last year's federal healthcare overhaul is unconstitutional.

The 11th Circuit's 2-1 ruling marks the Obama administration's biggest defeat to date in the multi-front legal battle over the health care law. The decision directly conflicts with a ruling issued in June by a federal appeals court in Cincinnati that upheld the law, wsj.com reported Friday.

The majority opinion stated that even during the Great Depression or World War II, "Congress never sought to require the purchase of wheat or war bonds, force a higher savings rate or greater consumption of American goods," latimes.com reported Friday. While Congress may regulate those who buy insurance, it may not regulate those who "have not entered the insurance market and have no intention of doing so."