The following audio and video were recorded on January, 26, 2011.

The Constitutionality of the Federal Health Care Law 1-26-11
Running Time: 01:18:39
[Full Audio and Video available on]

On March 23, 2010, President Barrack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law puts in place comprehensive insurance reforms that will roll out over a number of years. The law's centerpiece provision is the controversial individual insurance mandate, which forces individuals to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty.

On December 13, 2010, Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia found that the individual mandate violated the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause. Federal judges in Virginia and Michigan upheld the provision. Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson (Northern District of Florida) heard oral arguments in December 2010 and is expected soon to decide on the constitutionality of the provision. That case was brought by 20 attorneys general.

The cases are expected to reach the Supreme Court of the United States, which will likely rule on whether Congress exceeded its power under the U.S. Constitution. The panel will discuss the legal issues and arguments pending before the courts and the likelihood of the law being struck down as unconstitutional.


  • Hon. Jon Richards, State Representative and Former Chair of Assembly Health and Health Care Reform Committee and Ranking Chairperson for Assembly Health Committee 
  • Prof. Ilya Somin, Associate Professor, George Mason University School of Law and Regular Contributor to Volokh Conspiracy Law and Politics Blog 
  • Hon. J.B. Van Hollen, Wisconsin Attorney General
  • Moderator: Mr. Andrew C. Cook, The Hamilton Consulting Group LLC and President of the Madison Lawyers Chapter

The Madison Club
Madison, WI

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