Book Forum

Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

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Date and Time
September 13, 2013 12 - 1:30 PM EDT
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring the author Josh Blackman, Assistant Professor, South Texas College of Law; with comments by Randy Barnett, Carmack Waterhouse Professor in Legal Theory, Georgetown University Law Center; and Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

In 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court became the center of the political world. In a dramatic and unexpected 5–4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts voted to save the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Unprecedented tells the inside story of how this constitutional challenge raced across all three branches of government and narrowly avoided a collision between the Supreme Court and President Obama. The book offers unrivaled inside access to the key decisionmakers in Washington, based on interviews with over 100 of the people who lived this journey — including the academics who began the challenge, the attorneys who litigated the case at all levels (and their allies at Cato and elsewhere), and the Obama administration attorneys who defended the law. It reads like a political thriller, providing the definitive account of how the Supreme Court almost struck down the president’s “unprecedented” law. It also explains what this decision means for the future of the Constitution, the limits on federal power, and the Supreme Court. Commenting on this book will be Randy Barnett, who has been called the “intellectual godfather” of the Obamacare constitutional challenge, and Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center.