This inside story of the battle to kill the Affordable Care Act shows how close it came to succeeding, producing a ruling that may limit the federal government for years to come
On November 13, 2009, Josh Blackman and a group of Federalist Society lawyers gathered in a Washington, D.C. hotel to devise a legal challenge to Obamacare. It seemed a very long shot and was dismissively ignored by the White House, much of Congress, and all of the media. Two years later, the fight to overturn the Affordable Care Act had grown fierce and the government's case was tottering. When, finally, the Supreme Court announced its ruling their judgment was so surprising that two cable news channels misunderstood it and announced that the act had been deemed unconstitutional.
Only the supple logic of the Chief Justice who voted to confirm the Act allowed the law to stand. Roberts sidestepped the expansive and controversial Commerce Clause upholding instead the government's right to tax, a far narrower standard for the decision. As Blackman shows in Unprecedented, Chief Justice Roberts may have allowed the passage of the act, but he has given conservatives a truly powerful weapon for the future.
Josh Blackman is an assistant professor of law at the South Texas College of Law, and president of the Harlan Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the Supreme Court and the Constitution. He has published over a dozen law review articles about constitutional law, written numerous op-eds, and been interviewed about the Supreme Court by the New York Times, CNN, ABC News Radio, Reuters, The National Law Journal, the American Bar Association Journal, and Yahoo! News. The American Bar Association Journal selected his personal blog as one of its top 100 Legal Blogs. He also runs FantasySCOTUS.net.
Pub date: 09/10/13
Price: $27.99/31.00 Canada
6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Selling Territory: W
Rights: First Serial, British Commonwealth, Translation, Audio and Electronic rights: PublicAffairs
Performance rights: Trident Media Group