The Supreme Court upheld the federal Affordable Care Act on Thursday, ending – at least temporarily – a battle over the controversial statute that has served as backdrop for most of President Obama’s incumbency.
A few UALR experts weighed in on the ruling:
Professor Theresa Beiner, William H. Bowen School of Law:
“In upholding the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court of the United States let stand a law that reflected the will of the people, as expressed through their elected representatives. Rather than limiting Congress’s ability to enact laws designed to promote the general welfare, the court acknowledged Congress’s constitutional authority to use a creative means to solve a difficult national problem.”
Dr. Joseph Giammo, interim chair and associate professor of political science:
“The decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act is a major policy victory for the president, but may prove to be more of a mixed blessing in the election. The decision keeps the issue alive for the general election, which may do more to mobilize Republican voters than it will to mobilize Democratic voters. Not only are Republicans more unified on the issue, but the losing side was always likely to be the one that felt more motivated to show up at the polls in November.”
Dr. Art English, professor of political science:
“I believe Chief Justice [John] Roberts’ opinion reflected his concern for the institutional role of the court. Another 5-4 liberal-conservative split finding the law unconstitutional would have exacerbated the already intense political polarization in our country, especially considering the House vote to find Attorney General [Eric] Holder in contempt of Congress on the same day, per chance. The chief’s narrow opinion upholding the law and without any judgement on the wisdom of the law was a way of showing deference to the branches of government directly elected by the people to make public policy.”
More on the ACA:
Last fall, before the case reached the high court, Beiner and Bowen Dean John DiPippa at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law discussed the intricacies of the law and the court issues involved on segments of “The Bowen Connection,” televised on University TV.
Beiner teaches civil procedure, constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, employment discrimination, gender and the law, and a seminar on sexual harassment law.
DiPippa joined the UALR faculty in 1983 and currently teaches constitutional law and public service Law. In 1988, DiPippa left UALR to become executive eirector of Blue Ridge Legal Services in Harrisonburg, Va. He returned to UALR in 1989 and served as the associate dean from 1990 to 1993 and 2001 to 2008. DiPippa was appointed as interim dean July 1, 2008, and served in that capacity until his appointment as dean on Feb. 13, 2009. He returns to the classroom July 1.