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Somin Amicus Brief Filed with High Court

Professor Ilya Somin is the author of a Supreme Court amicus brief filed on behalf of the Washington Legal Foundation and a group of constitutional scholars addressing the question of whether the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Necessary and Proper Clause. 

The legal scholar amici include Steve Calabresi, James Ely, Steve Presser, Jonathan Adler, and Mason Law Professor Todd Zywicki, among others.

The main thrust of the argument presented in the brief is that the mandate falls outside the scope of Congress’ powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause because it is not “proper.” The brief puts forth the idea that the federal government’s position transforms the Necessary and Proper Clause into just a “Necessary Clause.”

"This goes against logic, the text of the Constitution, the original meaning, and Supreme Court precedent," says Somin in a blog posting. "We hope to focus more attention on this weakness in the federal government’s case."

Read the amicus brief