Siegel to judge health care moot

March 16, 2012Duke Law News

Just one week before the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue, Professor Neil Siegel will sit with a distinguished panel of judges to hear a mock moot court case focusing on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

The moot court, “Health Care on Trial,” is presented by the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The debate will center on the upcoming Supreme Court case Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, in which the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s minimum coverage provision is in question.

The event will be held on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. in the ceremonial courtroom of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia. Reservations are required; see for more information. The event will be webcast live on FORAtv. Following the completion of oral arguments, the panel of judges will confer publicly and vote.

Siegel, a professor of law and political science and director of Duke’s Program in Public Law, will serve on a panel of judges that includes seven current and former judges from United States Courts of Appeals. The panel includes:

  • D. Michael Fisher, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Thomas C. Goldstein, Partner, Goldstein and Russell, P.C., co-founder and publisher of SCOTUSblog
  • Kent A. Jordan, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Timothy K. Lewis, Of Counsel at Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis and former Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Theodore McKee, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Dolores K. Sloviter, Judge, United States Court Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Patricia Wald, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • Richard C. Wesley, Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Two leading Supreme Court litigators will present the case ⎯ Neal Katyal, former Acting Solicitor General, and Charles Rothfield, director of the Yale Law School Supreme Court Clinic.

Siegel teaches in the areas of constitutional law, constitutional theory, and federal courts. A recent profile in Duke Law Magazine highlighted his recent scholarship on the Affordable Care Act. His overall approach to the debate over the health care legislation defends broad ⎯ but not limitless ⎯ federal power.

“It’s basically a defense of the regime under which Americans have lived since 1937 — a regime that now is under attack, and that I think is worthy of being defended,” he said. “There’s a reason why Article 1, Section 8 gives Congress robust power. It’s to accomplish what Chief Justice John Marshall famously said in McCulloch v. Maryland, which is to ensure the preservation of the Constitution and the nation: ‘This provision is made in a constitution, intended to endure for ages to come, and consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs.’”
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