I doubt that David Kopel, the author of “Pretending that No Law Professors Question Obamacare” had Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard in mind when he wrote the blog post, but when I read the post, I immediately thought of Terry Goddard. In refusing to do his job as the lawyer for the state of Arizona and sue to overturn Obamacare, the man who was never a constitutional law scholar or law professor said this in a March 29, 2010 press release:
Constitutional experts across the country have reviewed the law and the claims made in the lawsuit and have concluded that those claims are legally weak and have little chance to prevail. This conclusion is shared by many scholars on the conservative side, who see the lawsuit as much more about politics than the law.
In a March 24, 2010, press release, Mr. Goddard said:
My Office has carefully examined both the federal health care legislation and the lawsuits challenging it. Our lawyers agree with the overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars of both parties that the lawsuits have little merit and that participating in them would be a waste of scarce taxpayer dollars.
I note that in both of his press releases, the AG failed to include citations to his claims. In his post, Mr. Kopel discusses and links to a number of law professors who have stated that they believe Obamacare is unconstitutional. In fact, one of the law professors, “Ilya Shapiro has just posted an offer to debate Obamacare anywhere, anytime.” I would love for the Goldwater Institute or somebody else to pay Professor Shapiro’s expenses to fly him to Phoenix to debate Terry Goddard. I suspect, however, that former Phoenix Mayor Goddard would not agree to the debate.
See Randy Barnett’s excellent article called “Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional” that examines in depth the constitutional issues.
P.S. The Arizona attorney general also said another reason he declined to do his job was because it would be a waste of taxpayer money. I guess the AG picks and chooses how he wants to waste taxpayers’ money. See for example his waste of taxpayers’ money in defending the Arizona fish police, aka the Board of Cosmetology. The AG is in court defending the Arizona fish police’s statewide ban of carp fish pedicures, one of Arizona’s most pressing health problems.