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Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare    by Josh Blackman order for
by Josh Blackman
Order:  USA  Can
PublicAffairs, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

If you are not already weary of all the political rhetoric and claims and counter-claims about the efficacy of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), this book may be of interest.

Josh Blackman, the president of the Harlan Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the Supreme Court and the Constitution, offers the inside story, or at least his version of it, on how this landmark act narrowly squeaked by with a 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 2012.

There were two major surprises when this piece of healthcare reform was challenged in this manner. First, no one really believed that the highest court in the land would agree to hear the legal challenge to the constitutionality of this legislation and, secondly, perhaps even more experts were surprised by the Court's ruling.

Based on a series of interviews including academics, lawyers, and politicians, Blackman offers his take on how key decisions were made and why the justices voted as they did. An assistant professor of law at South Texas College of Law, Blackman also shares his opinion on what he feels this decision means for the future of the Constitution, the limits on federal power and the Supreme Court itself.

'In the blink of the eye, the ACA went to the brink of unconstitutionality and back,' writes Blackman. 'Along that rapid journey, lawyers and scholars from across the philosophical spectrum were so focused on developing, refining, and advancing constitutional arguments at breakneck speeds that they were often unable to pause and appreciate the monumental importance of what was happening.'

This, I am certain, is just the first of a number of books that will debate just what did happen and what ramifications that Court decision has for the future. No doubt John Blackman's views set forth here will be seriously challenged by other and perhaps more illustrious legal scholars.

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