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Moot court to debate healthcare law in Los Angeles

March 13, 2012 |  5:30 pm

Attorneys in Los Angeles will hold a moot court on the controversial healthcare law Tuesday night, two weeks before the real case is to be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The mock exercise will focus on whether the federal Affordable Care Act can require everyone to have insurance or pay a penalty.The event is sponsored by the California Endowment and several local law schools. It will begin at 6 p.m. at the endowment offices at 1000 Alameda St., in Chinatown. It will also be streamed live over the Internet.

Theodore J. Boutrous, who has argued cases before the Supreme Court, will be arguing against the law. "This is one of those situations I have to argue against the position I hold," he said.

Boutrous said the case raises interesting public policy and constitutional questions. Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of Stanford Law School, is arguing in favor of the law.

The panel of justices hearing the mock case include former Gov. Gray Davis and Pepperdine Law School Dean Deanell Reece Tacha.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this month. The outcome could have a significant impact across the country, including in California, which is already well underway in implementing the law.

"Health reform will continue," said Robert K. Ross, president of the California Endowment, which filed a brief in support of the law. "It is just a matter of whether it will continue with the support of the Supreme Court."


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--Anna Gorman