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Article
“Health Laws of Every Description”: John Marshall’s Ruling on a Federal Health Care Law
Engage (2011)
  • David B Kopel
  • Robert G Natelson, Independence Institute
Abstract

If John Marshall, the greatest of Chief Justices, were to hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, how would he rule? Would the nationalist justice who, according to the New Deal Supreme Court, “described the Federal commerce power with a breadth never yet exceeded,” agree that federal control of health care was within that power?

In the fictional opinion below, Marshall rules on the constitutionality of a bill similar to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

We constructed this opinion chiefly from direct quotation and paraphrases of Marshall’s own words, as expressed in his judicial pronouncements, his newspaper articles, and his speeches at the Virginia ratifying convention.

Keywords
  • John Marshall,
  • Affordable Care Act,
  • Gibbons v. Ogden,
  • health care
Publication Date
June, 2011
Citation Information
David B Kopel and Robert G Natelson. "“Health Laws of Every Description”: John Marshall’s Ruling on a Federal Health Care Law" Engage Vol. 12 Iss. 1 (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david_kopel/38/