Randy E. Barnett, a law professor at Georgetown, was not the first to raise the argument that Congress’ power to set rules for commerce does not extend to regulating inactivity, but he is associated with it more than any other legal academic. Critics of Barnett say the health reform law is “obviously constitutional” and that he will lose “eight to one.” Barnett, who argued a case before the Supreme Court in 2004, and lost, doesn’t need the health reform law to be struck down to prove his argument. “When the Supreme Court grants six hours of oral arguments over three days, I don’t have to win that case to know that my challenge is serious,” Barnett said.

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