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Supreme Court, Upholding Obamacare, Cites Librarian John Cannan’s Research

John Cannan

June 25, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court’s long-awaited ruling on the Affordable Care Act, issued June 25, cites a scholarly article written by Research and Instructional Services Librarian John Cannan, a member of the adjunct faculty.

Written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the ruling cites Cannan’s article, “A Legislative History of the Affordable Care Act: How Legislative Procedure Shapes Legislative History,” which appeared in the Law Library Journal in 2013.  

The article, which The Wall Street Journal cited in 2013, observes trends in the legislative process that make it harder for librarians and other researchers to document the history of law-making.

Roberts’ ruling, noting the fact that Congress wrote key portions of the Affordable Care Act behind closed doors, quotes Cannan’s observation that this strayed from “the traditional legislative process.”

The 6-3 ruling allows for the ongoing provision of federal subsidies for health care in states that did not set up their own exchanges, safeguarding continued coverage for more than 6 million Americans.

Cannan, who earned his JD at the University of Maryland School of Law, teaches Intellectual Property Legal Research.