Law Professor Renée M. Landers, director of Suffolk University Law School’s Health & Biomedical Law Concentration, has been widely sought after for her analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision upholding the universal health care law.
Landers had predicted the outcome on the challenge to the Affordable Care Act, maintaining that if the court were to follow precedent it would find the entire health care statute constitutional.
In the end Chief Justice Roberts likely took into consideration that "overturning an act of Congress is a really significant action by the court even though not unprecedented, and if at all possible the court should work to uphold the Constitution," Landers told HealthDay, an online publication of U.S. News & World Report.
Before the court made it's ruling, Landers had told HealthDay that she expected the court to uphold the entire law, with Kennedy and Roberts siding with the majority in a 6 to 3 decision. She noted that the two justices' questions were balanced and that they appear to have an “institutional concern for the court about wiping out in one fell swoop 70-plus years of jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause." However, Kennedy surprised her by dissentuing.
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision, Landers has been asked to:
•Appear on WGBH radio and WGBH TV's “Greater Boston with Emily Rooney”
•Prepare a “Perspectives” piece on the decision for the New England Journal of Medicine
•Write for the Health Affairs Blog
•Provide material for the National Academy of Health Insurance
•Participate in a July 13 teleconference on the decision for MCLE
•Write a law review article on the decision for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Journal
Landers’s much-sought-after analysis on the issue appeared in many media outlets across the country before the ruling came down, including
•NPR - “Can a Health Care Mandate Reduce Disparities in Coverage?” on The Takeaway.
•U.S. News & World Report - “Legal Experts Offer Predictions on Fate of Health-Reform Legislation.”
•WGBH Radio, where she offered daily commentary during the Supreme Court oral arguments in March.
•NECN - "Broadside: SCOTUS and Obamacare"
•Health Affairs Blog, where she posted some reflections on the Supreme Court oral arguments, “On the Individual Mandate: Towards A Single-Payer or Public Option?”
•MD&DI Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry magazine - “The Worst-Case Scenario for Industry in the Supreme Court Healthcare Reform Case”
Landers also discussed the Supreme Court case in a February speaking program at the Law School, Flashpoints in Federalism: The Clash of Federal and State Sovereignty in Health Care, Immigration and Gay Marriage.
Landers is the author of numerous book chapters and articles, including "’Tomorrow’ May Finally Have Arrived--The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: A Necessary First Step toward Health Care Equity in the United States” in the Journal of Health and Biomedical Law. She also is a co-author of the following articles, “Medicaid Expansion Under the 2010 Health Care Reform Legislation: The Continuing Evolution of Medicaid’s Central Role in American Health Care,” in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Journal and “Supreme Court Review of the Health Care Reform Law,” in the New England Journal of Medicine. Professor Landers has appeared on CNN and has been a frequent contributor on NECN.
Landers is a past president of the Boston Bar Association. She has worked in private practice and served as deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Clinton Administration.