Yesterday, the University of Washington held a debate about the constitutionality of the recently passed health care reform bill. The Seattle Times reports that none of the panelists at the debate argued that the bill was unconstitutional because the organizers of the event couldn’t find any law professors who held that view:
The University of Washington billed it as a debate among distinguished law faculty over whether the new federal health-care law is constitutional.
But while the four panelists at a packed event Tuesday may have differed on some of the finer points, they all agreed on the big question: They said the new law passes constitutional muster and that various lawsuits arguing the opposite — including the one joined last week by state Attorney General Rob McKenna — have little merit or chance of success. Even John McKay, the former Republican U.S. attorney for Western Washington (who was forced out in 2006 under contentious circumstances) said that while he sympathized with some of the political issues in play, he thought the lawsuits lacked merit. In fact, he questioned the timing and thrust of the cases: “One way to say it is, that this has to be seen as a political exercise,” he said.
Moderator Hugh Spitzer noted the lack of a vigorous dissenting voice. “I will say that we tried very hard to get a professor who could come and who thinks this is flat-out unconstitutional,” he said. “But there are relatively few of them, and they are in great demand.”