Thursday, April 05, 2012

SCOTUS v. POTUS: The Role of the Supreme Court, Historically

PBS's Newshour of April 4 has program which includes an interview with two Georgetown law professors, Louis Michael Seidman and Randy Barnett. Barnett is the one who came up with the idea, in the context of the health care debate, that the commerce clause of the Constitution, while it allows the federal government to require citizens to refrain from doing something, cannot require citizens to DO something. The Affordable Care Act now before the Supreme Court requires most uninsured people to buy insurance if they are not otherwise insured, a requirement which is called the individual mandate. The Newshour program is not about the individual mandate, but about the propriety of remarks made by President Obama about judicial activism, remarks which can be heard at the beginning of this program. A little help with the acronyms: SCOTUS is the Supreme Court of the United States, and POTUS the President of the United States.
streaming  video or downloadable .mp3, 12min 32 sec, transcript available