After the most significant Supreme Court oral argument of the Roberts Court, elite law professors were stuck sitting on the sidelines at the Hogwarts-esque castle that is Yale Law School, mystified at how they were likely headed towards an unprecedented defeat. Rather than accepting the validity of the arguments against Obamacare, leading academics directed their ire towards the Solicitor General, characterizing him as recalcitrant, shunning academics (unlike his predecessor),and putting forth losing arguments in Court. Further, the professors blamed the media (the New York Times in particular), which gave a “false equivalence” to libertarian law professors and made their arguments legitimate. In writing Unprecedented: The Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare, Josh Blackman conducted over one hundred interviews with the lawyers, journalists, professors, and politicos involved on both sides of the case. These insights shed light on the question Professor David Hyman seeks to answer in his important and timely new Article: “Why Did Law Professors Misunderestimate the Lawsuits against PPACA?” For this contribution to a symposium of replies in the University of Illinois Law Review, Blackman highlights how the sentiments at this Ivy-League confab served as a fitting testament to the law professors’ “misunderestimation” of NFIB v. Sebelius.
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