300 Colorado Street
- Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review
Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was a special assistant/advisor to the Multi-National Force in Iraq on rule of law issues and practiced international, political, commercial, and antitrust litigation at Patton Boggs and Cleary Gottlieb. Shapiro has contributed to a variety of academic, popular, and professional publications, including the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, L.A. Times, Washington Times, Legal Times, Weekly Standard, Roll Call, and National Review Online. He also regularly provides commentary on a host of legal and political issues for various TV and radio outlets, including CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, “The Colbert Report,” and American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” Before entering private practice, Shapiro clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School (where he became a Tony Patiño Fellow).
Multiple challenges to President Obama’s health care reform are percolating through the federal courts, and a circuit split now exists on the individual mandate issue. The Supreme Court will undoubtedly review at least one of these lawsuits and will have to answer a crucial question: Are there any remaining limits on federal power? The administration posits three constitutional sources—the Taxing Power, the Commerce Clause, and the Necessary and Proper Clause—as authority for ObamaCare’s requirement that individuals either buy a government-approved health insurance policy or pay a penalty. The Taxing Power rationale has thus far not garnered support from a single judge. The Commerce Clause covers economic activities only, raising the issue whether Congress may compel such activities in order to regulate them. Finally, Mr. Shapiro argues, the mandate is neither “necessary”—because the law itself has created the problem that the mandate addresses—nor “proper” if it cannot be reconciled with the Framers’ design of a federal government of enumerated rather than plenary power.
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