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Panel Agrees Health Care Challenge Will Affect 2012 Election

Law Forum

Henry Olsen, director of American Enterprise Institute's National Research Initiative, and E.J. Dionne, professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, listen during a Law Center forum on how the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act will affect the upcoming presidential election.

March 28, 2012 – Political experts – including E.J. Dionne and Charles Krauthammer – were at Georgetown’s law school last night to talk about how the Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act will affect the 2012 election.

Earlier that day, the nation’s highest court heard oral arguments on the act, which is being challenged by 26 states. Solicitor General Paul Clement, an adjunct law professor at Georgetown, was among those arguing before the court.

“Today is an astonishing day to have this panel,” said Gloria Borger, CNN’s chief political analyst and moderator of the forum. “No matter who wins or loses in this case, it’s going to have a huge political impact.”

David and Goliath

The forum included Dionne, a professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and a Washington Post columnist; Krauthammer, another Post columnist; Mara Liasson, NPR’s national political correspondent; Joe Klein, political columnist for Time magazine; and Henry Olsen, director of American Enterprise Institute’s National Research Initiative.

Klein and Dionne agreed it would be a significant political loss to the president if the court strikes down the law.

“Lee Atwater … the former chair of the Republican National Committee, once said that if David had lost to Goliath, we wouldn’t talk about David very much,” Dionne said.

Problems and Solutions

Krauthammer also agreed that it would be a blow to the president if the Affordable Care Act gets overturned.

“[The critique would be], he spent a year-and-a-half on this when he should have been doing the economy and other stuff,” he said.

The forum also touched on the Republican campaign for president.

“This election so far has been marked by an extreme gap between the size of the problems and the size of the solutions that are being offered,” Liasson said. “Big problems and tiny little solutions – or none at all.”

Exciting Atmosphere

The law school’s Office of Admissions and the Georgetown Law Student Ambassadors sponsored the forum.

In attendance were admitted students who – to paraphrase remarks by Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor and Dean of Admissions Andy Cornblatt – got a taste of the exciting legal and political atmosphere waiting for them at the Law Center.

“This is the place where law and government are connected in a way that no other law school can offer,” Treanor said.

Related Information

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