The Corner

Law & the Courts

Amy Coney Barrett Participated in a ‘Mock Court’ on the Obamacare Case

Reports the Los Angeles Times:

Just one week before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whom she has been nominated to replace, Barrett participated in a mock court hearing on the pending case. She was part of an eight-judge panel that heard the mock arguments, conducted at William & Mary Law School. . . .

Five of the judges ruled that one part of the law — the so-called individual mandate, which Congress has already effectively nullified — was unconstitutional, but that the rest of the healthcare law could stay in place. The other three judges would have thrown out the case, arguing that the conservative states challenging the law did not have standing to bring the suit.

It’s not known which side Barrett was on because the participants’ votes were not revealed, according to a person who viewed the session and declined to be identified. . . .

During the mock session, Barrett asked skeptical questions about whether the government’s taxing authority still justified keeping the individual mandate. According to the recollections of the person who viewed the session, she asked several questions about its constitutionality.

So, every judge involved let the law stand, though their reasons varied.

The idea that confirming Barrett would kill the Affordable Care Act was always silly, and of course her “ruling” on a mock court  — which the article refers to as an “educational role-playing exercise[]” — doesn’t bind Barrett if she actually hears the case. But this really should put an end to the panic.