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Professor comments on historic social laws

July 11, 2012

An article in the June 30 edition of The Arizona Republic about an elite group of laws offering social protections for large groups of Americans, which someday likely will include the Affordable Care Act, featured comments by David Gartner, associate professor of law.

The article, “Health-care bill one of many historic social laws,” was a follow up by reporters Craig Anderson and Ryan Randazzo to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 28 to uphold President Obama’s health-care law. It traced the origins of other acts, such as those dealing with Social Security, civil rights, voting rights and Medicare and Medicaid.

Shortly after the Social Security Act was signed into law, in 1935, the Supreme Court’s majority had started to embrace a more liberal view of constitutional federalism, said Gartner, who teaches Constitutional Law. Although the reason for that change isn’t entirely clear, he said, the justices likely were responding to both public criticism about previous decisions and to presidential threats to replace them through proposed “court packing” legislation.

To read the article, click here.