UNT faculty members available for comment on Supreme Court decision about health care law

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

By the end of June, the Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision about the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was passed by Congress in 2010. A majority of Americans responding to a recent poll think that Supreme Court justices will be acting mainly on their partisan political views, rather than on a neutral reading of the law, when they decide the constitutionality, and most poll responders don't believe that the entire law will be upheld by the Court.

The following University of North Texas faculty members are available to discuss the Court's ruling on the health care law: 

Paul M. Collins Jr., associate professor of political science, is the author of Friends of Supreme Court: Interest Groups and Judicial Decision Making, which traces interest group participation in the Supreme Court in the form of amicus curiae ("friends of the court") briefs over the last 60 years. In the book, Collins focuses on the briefs' influence on individual justices' responses to the cases being considered, and the Court's overall decisions.  

He will speak in particular about interest groups' involvement in the health care law debate and the factors that shaped the Court's decision, including the role of ideology. Collins has published scholarly articles in American Politics Research, American University Law Review, Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Journal of Politics, Judicature, Justice System Journal, Law & Policy, Law & Social Inquiry, Law & Society Review, Notre Dame Law Review, Political Research Quarterly, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, and Social Science Quarterly.

He may be reached at his office at 940-369-8829, by cell phone at 940-395-5142 or by e-mail at pmcollins@unt.edu.

Kimi L. King, associate professor of political science, teaches constitutional law courses and

has authored or co-authored articles in Social Science Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Social Science Research and international law reviews. King believes the Supreme Court's decision on the health care law will be reached by ideology, but Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy "is going to be at the center of it all."

"In theory, he'll support legislative authority under the Commerce Clause, but will leave open for another day whether the individual mandate can be upheld under Commerce Clause authority," King said.

King may be reached by cell phone at 940-597-4802.

James Swan, professor of applied gerontology, can discuss the impact of the health care plan and the Supreme Court's ruling on its constitutionality on senior citizens and other populations. Swan has served on the governing council in the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association. He has also been active in the Texas Public Health Association, serving as its second vice president and on its executive board, governing council and conference planning committee.

Swan may be reached at swan@unt.edu or at 940-565-3454.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108