Si Lazarus Responds to my post on Obama’s Constitutionalism

February 12th, 2013

At the Text & History Blog, Si Lazarus graciously responds to my post about President Obama’s turn to the Constitution in his second term..

Josh Blackman astutely observes, in this post and an earlier one, that President Obama’s rights-based defense of affirmative government connects to a long-running dialogue among philosophers, academics, and contemporary pundits and advocates on the Right (see Yuval Levin) and Left (see Garrett Epps) concerning “positive” and “negative” conceptions of liberty.

Especially interesting, Josh spotted this high-level dialectic behind the closing arguments in last year’s Affordable Care Act case by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and opposing counsel Paul Clement—an important point that other observers, including me, completelyoverlooked.

Josh also nails the bottom-line regarding President Obama’s exposition of a progressive constitutional narrative: “During his first term, the Tea Party owned the constitutional narrative. Let’s see if Obama can reclaim it during the second term.”

Let’s see what the former Constitutional law Lecturer conjures up in the State of the Union tonight?