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UT law professor says historical precedent points to Obamacare being upheld


As arguments to determine the fate of President Obama’s signature health care law continue Tuesday and Wednesday in Washington, D.C., University of Toledo Professor of law Rebecca Zietlow predicts the Supreme Court ultimately will continue to defer to congressional power and uphold the law.

“I think the Court should and will uphold the 2010 Affordable Care Act because it always has deferred to congressional power to regulate the economy and it should continue to do so,” Zietlow said. “This case is really about the type of policy issues that are best suited for the politically accountable legislature, and not the unaccountable federal courts. If the Court does strike down the Act, it will widely and correctly be viewed as a political decision.”

Historically, Zietlow said, the Supreme Court has deferred to Congress’s power to regulate the national economy.

“What is at stake in Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida is the question of whether the Affordable Care Act is different enough from other statutes upheld by the Court to justify the Court’s departure from its traditional deferential approach.”

Zietlow teaches Constitutional Law at the University of Toledo College of Law. She is a nationally known expert on the constitutionality of congressional acts, and has recently written an article about the Affordable Care Act litigation entitled Democratic Constitutionalism and the Affordable Care Act, published in the Ohio State Law Journal.


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