by Josh Blackman
September 06, 2013
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. 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.