Defense: Scholars lined up to battle constitutionality of healthcare reform

Next week, scholars from opposite ends of the political spectrum will line up for a symbolic battle over the constitutionality of Democrats' landmark healthcare reform legislation.

The witness list, which was released to The Hill on Friday afternoon, includes a prominent libertarian scholar as well as the liberal attorney general for the state of Oregon, John Kroger.  

Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) decision to host a hearing to "examine the constitutionality" of a bill he supported on the Senate floor suggests Democrats are playing defense after two state supreme courts have ruled that the bill is unconstitutional. 

While the Congress has no influence over decisions made in the courts, an aide to the majority party on the Judiciary Committee suggested that Democrats have invited experts to testify in order to make thepublic point that the bill is legal. 

The hearing on “the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act" will take place on Wednesday and include the following witnesses for Democrats:



The Honorable John Kroger
, attorney general for the state of Oregon
, Salem, Ore.



Walter Dellinger, 
Douglas B. Maggs professor emeritus of law, 
Duke University School of Law
, Durham, N.C.



Charles Fried
, beneficial professor of law, 
Harvard Law School
, Cambridge, Mass.

Republicans have invited: 


Randy E. Barnett
, Carmack Waterhouse professor of legal theory, 
Georgetown University Law Center
, Washington.



Michael A. Carvin
, partner
, Jones Day, Washington.

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