Vice Dean Moreland Gives Speech About The U.S. Supreme Court’s Current Term
Vice Dean and Professor of Law, Michael P. Moreland, recently spoke at the annual VLAA Delaware Chapter’s Spring Luncheon on April 27, 2012 on the topic of "The U.S. Supreme Court's Current Term." The Spring Luncheon was hosted by the law firm, Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP in Wilmington, Delaware.
Dean Moreland focused his discussion on the Supreme Court’s oral arguments regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that President Obama signed into law on March 23, 2010. The Supreme Court held three days of hearings on March 26-28, 2012 and Dean Moreland addressed the following main topics argued over the course of these days:
March 26. The Anti-Injunction Act: The Court must decide whether a statute known as the Anti-Injunction Act of bars anyone from challenging the individual insurance-purchase mandate before it takes effect, on the theory that the mandate and its attached penalty are a form of taxation. The 1867 law forbids any challenges to a tax law until the law has gone into effect, on the ground that such lawsuits potentially could stop the IRS from collecting tax revenues.
March 27 - The individual insurance mandate: If the Court finds that it has the authority to decide the constitutionality of the mandate, because review is not barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, it would decide whether Congress had the authority under the Constitution to enact the mandate, relying either upon its power over interstate commerce or its power to tax.
March 28 – Two issues at hand
(first issue) The “severability” question: If the insurance mandate is found to be unconstitutional, the Court will then have to decide whether all or any other part of the ACA will fall with it, on the theory that the parts of the law are closely linked to each other.
(second issue). The expansion of Medicaid for the poor: The Court will decide whether Congress had the authority under its power to spend money to require states, as a condition for continuing to take part in the Medicaid program, to agree to expand the number of people eligible for this assistance.
Dean Moreland then held an interactive Q&A with the DE Chapter attendees that was well received and highly recommended for future events.