Yesterday, The Heritage Foundation hosted the event "Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Health Care Case," which detailed how legal bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy engaged in a spirited, erudite, and accessible discussion of the legal issues involved in the debate over the Affordable Care Act.This debate was one of the most important and public examinations of the Constitution in our history. Several of the Volokh bloggers played key roles in developing the constitutional arguments against the Act, and their blogs had a significant impact on both the public debate and the arguments made in court. It was perhaps the first time that a blog affected arguments submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on a major issue. The bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy helped legitimize a new type of legal discourse.
"A Conspiracy Against Obamacare" compiles the discussion that unfolded at the Volokh Conspiracy blog into a readable narrative, enhanced with new context and analysis, as the contributors reflect on the Obamacare litigation with the advantage of hindsight. The different bloggers certainly did not always agree with each other, but the back-and-forth debates provide momentum as the reader follows the development of the arguments over time. "A Conspiracy Against Obamacare" exemplifies an important new form of legal discourse and public intellectualism. As Paul Clement, counsel to 26 states in the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, said, "The Constitution had its Federalist Papers, and the challenge to the Affordable Care Act had the Volokh Conspiracy."
Participating were Randy Barnett, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center and Director of Georgetown’s Center for the Constitution; Orin Kerr, the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at the George Washington University Law School; Ilya Somin, Professor of Law at the George Mason University School of Law, and Trevor Burrus, a Research Fellow at the Cato Institute Center for Constitutional Studies.