By the Left Coast Rebel
Interesting article in today's NYT on Cato scholar and Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett:
WASHINGTON — When Congress passed legislation requiring nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance, Randy E. Barnett, a passionate libertarian who teaches law at Georgetown, argued that the bill was unconstitutional. Many of his colleagues, on both the left and the right, dismissed the idea as ridiculous — and still do.
But over the past two years, through his prolific writings, speaking engagements and television appearances, Professor Barnett has helped drive the question of the health care law’s constitutionality from the fringes of academia into the mainstream of American legal debate and right onto the agenda of the United States Supreme Court...
Professor Barnett, who watched Monday from the spectator seats, was not the first to raise the constitutional critique of the health law, but more than any other legal academic, he is associated with it. At 60, he is a fast-talking former Chicago prosecutor who decided to become a lawyer when he was in elementary school, while watching “The Defenders,” a 1960s television drama.
He is a fierce advocate of economic freedom who is accustomed to being a legal underdog. In 2004, in his first (and, he says, probably his last) appearance before the Supreme Court, he argued that Congress could not criminalize the production of home-grown marijuana for personal medical use. There again, critics said he would lose 8 to 1. He did lose, but took satisfaction in the actual vote, 6 to 3.
Here's Professor Randy Barnett testifying before Congress last year: