American University Washington College of Law Experts Available to Comment on the Health Care Law Arguments before the United States Supreme Court


To arrange interviews, please contact Megan Smith, (202) 274-4276.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the United States Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments about the health care reform law March 26-28, American University Washington College of Law’s constitutional law, health law, and tax law experts are available to comment on all issues in question.

Constitutional Law

Stephen Wermiel, fellow in law and government

Expertise: U.S. Supreme Court, constitutional law

  • Covered the Supreme Court for the Wall Street Journal from 1979 until 1991, interpreting and analyzing more than 1,300 Supreme Court decisions on a broad array of legal issues.
  • Expert on the life and career of Justice William J. Brennan and co-author of biography Justice Brennan: Liberal Champion.
  • Teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Media Law and a seminar on the workings of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Author of SCOTUSblog for Law Students, and has written about heath care litigation.

“It’s an unusual — not unprecedented but unusual — circumstance in which the court is going to find itself in one of the hottest political issues in the middle of a political campaign in which [its] decision may make a significant contribution in how the campaign plays out.” - Wermiel, quoted by Politico in "Recusal Fight Could Bedevil Supreme Court Health Care Ruling."










Daniel Marcus, fellow in law and government

Expertise: Courts, constitutional law

  • Was general counsel of the 9/11 Commission, and a former partner of the Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering.
  • Was deputy general counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and general counsel of the Department of Agriculture (during the Carter Administration).
  • Served as senior counsel in the White House Counsel's office, and from 1999-2001 held several senior positions at the Department of Justice, including associate attorney general.








Stephen Vladeck, professor of law and associate dean for scholarship

Expertise: Federal vs. State Jurisdiction

  • Teaches and researches federal jurisdiction, national security law, constitutional law (especially the separation of powers), and international criminal law.
  • Is a nationally recognized expert on the role of the federal courts in the war on terrorism, and was part of the legal team that successfully challenged the Bush Administration’s use of military tribunals at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
  • Has drafted reports on related issues for a number of organizations, including the First Amendment Center, the Constitution Project, and the ABA’s Standing Committee on Law and National Security.

"The question of when states are allowed to sue is a thorny one, but I think that if all states needed to challenge a federal law was some state law, then states could sue for anything." - Vladeck, quoted by the Washington Examiner in "Court Strikes Down Virginia's Health Care Lawsuit."











Health Law

Lindsay Wiley, assistant professor of law

Expertise: Severability issue

  • Teaches torts, health law, and public health law, and researches access to health care and healthy conditions in the U.S. and globally.
  • Formerly the Global Health Law Program Director at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University
  • Worked at the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the American Society for Law, Medicine and Ethics, and Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman LLC in Baltimore, MD.







Tax Law

Ben Leff, assistant professor of law

Expertise: Tax issues surrounding the individual mandate

  • Teaches courses on U.S. federal tax law and the law of charitable and non-profit organizations, and researches the regulation of nonprofits.
  • Was a visiting assistant professor at Harvard Law School, practiced tax law in Austin, Texas, and has clerked in Federal District Court.






American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit