Somin Debates Constitutionality of Individual Mandate

Professor Ilya Somin was a participant in an Oxford-style debate sponsored by the Brookings Institution on March 2 in Washington, D.C.

The topic of the debate was “Pursuing the Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate,” and participants argued either for or against a resolution declaring unconstitutional the individual mandate called for in the health care law enacted last year.

Arguing with Somin in support of the resolution was David Rivkin Jr., partner of Baker Hotstetler. Arguing against it were Walter Dellinger, partner at O’Melveny and Myers, and Simon Lazarus, public policy counsel at the National Senior Citizens Law Center. William Galston, chair and senior fellow of the Brookings Institution, acted as moderator.

At the conclusion of the debate, participants took questions from the audience.

The event was part of the Brookings Institution Governing Ideas series intended to broaden discussion of governance issues through forums on history, culture, legal norms and practices, values, and religion.

On the same date, Somin participated in a discussion of "Health Care Law's Constitutionality" held by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. In addition to Somin, event participants included former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-SD); Walter Dellinger, chair of the appellate practice at O'Melveny & Myers LLP; Simon Lazarus, public policy counsel at the Nationa Senior Citizens Law Center; and Neera Tanden, chief operating officer at the Center for American Progress.