They're Still Arguing Over ACA
Book occasions rehash of Supreme Court case.
Jones Day's Carvin pointed to the next wave of litigation challenging other aspects of the Affordable Care Act, notably the requirement that employers provide health insurance plans that include contraception services. Nearly a dozen such suits based on the religious views of employers are pending, he said, and some are being reframed and refilled now that the government has promulgated its final "compromise" regulation. He said some lawsuits make First Amendment "compelled speech" claims against the law.
The September 16 event was also a symbol of the rapid embrace of Blackman, author of the book, by the Supreme Court community. Blackman is the latest young face to impress court practitioners and aficionados with his enthusiasm, Supreme Court savvy and bright ideas — but without the usual credentials (not an Ivy Leaguer, no experience in the solicitor general's office or as a Supreme Court law clerk.) Think Shon Hopwood and, a decade or so ago, Tom Goldstein.
Blackman was an early partisan in the battle over the Affordable Care Act, and he turns up briefly in his own narrative in the book of the strategizing among challengers to the law. In spite of that, his book plays it straight, offering a remarkably balanced and accessible account of the litigation. He does not, for example, hide the fact that Republicans did as much flip-flopping over the individual mandate as Democrats did. And he gets into some of the infighting between advocates on both sides.
"Gripping reading, really," said New York Times reporter Adam Liptak, moderator of the Georgetown event. "It is likely to last as the definitive account" of the landmark Supreme Court case, he said. Liptak jokingly recalled first meeting Blackman some years ago when Blackman was a George Mason University School of Law student waiting in line for a Supreme Court argument. Blackman came across as "a little goofy and not likely to amount to anything," said Liptak, whose opinion has long since changed.
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