Zak Slayback Reviews Unprecedented in the UPenn Spectrum

September 22nd, 2013

Zak, who I’ve known since he was in high school (all of three years ago), penned a generous review of Unprecedented in the University of Pennsylvania Spectrum. Here is the beginning:

The constitutional case against Obamacare was difficult for even the most erudite Supreme Court watchers and constitutional law scholars to follow. The case came up through several different courts of appeals and used a variety of tactics to take down the landmark legislation, so to follow such a case, either in abstract theory or in current events, was impossible at best and difficult at worst. With barely even a year having passed since the landmark decision was handed down, finding a cohesive coverage of the case, both from a current events perspective and from a constitutional law perspective, can be difficult. South Texas College of Law Professor Josh Blackman’s new book, Unprecedented: The Constitutional Case Against Obamacare puts both of those elements into an easy-to-read narrative that combines elements of an edge-of-your seat political thriller (ala Dan Brown) and a theory book from a Constitutional Law class. One need look no further than Blackman’s book to find excellent coverage of the case.

Unprecedented has several unique factors going for it. First, Blackman’s legal expertise is infused within the narrative, making sure not to leave behind the actual legal theory while covering the events of the case. Second, interviews with a variety of sources, including Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett, the mind behind the challenge, and a variety of government sources, makes for a unique synthesis of perspectives which allows Blackman to stay impartial while covering a highly contentious issue. Third, sentences and paragraphs flow together beautifully in the style of the prose of a political thriller, not unusual to Blackman’s writing style.