Answered By: Jeffrey Orrico
Last Updated: Feb 03, 2017     Views: 69

To search for relevant articles (and possibly legal cases), you will need the exact name of the law and its statutory citation.  Also, consider the names and citations of previous and/or related legislation which was proposed and later amended, merged with the final act, or defeated.  You might find the correct name and citation in articles or news accounts which you are reading, but these are sometimes incorrect or incomplete.  Other sources for this information include the federal government's information portal (, the library's subscription databases (e.g., CQ Researcher and WestLaw), and Google/Wikipedia.  Search the name of the bill as closely as you know it.  I used "affordable health care act" and found that several names had been used during the legislative process.

The legislation is contained in P.L 111-148, published in 124 Stat. 119  (23 Mar. 2010).  It is titled "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act".

CQ Researcher offers topical reports on issues of legislative concern.  I found a report on the topic of health care reform which was recently updated with information about the legal challenges to the legislation, including brief summaries of the issues raised.  Reported decisions of cases concerning the act can be found in the WestLaw database using the name(s) of the act and appropriate keywords such as "unconstitutional" (I found 19 such cases searching in Federal Cases.)  WestLaw also offers access to a large number of law journals; there you can find scholarly analysis of the constitutionality of the act by lawyers and graduate students in law.

General journal databases such as EBSCO's Academic Search Premier and Gale/Cengage's Expanded Academic ASAP are also sources for scholarly articles discussing the constitutionality of the act.  Again, try the name(s) of the act and keywords such as "unconstitutional".

Because this law is being widely debated currently, you will also find many opinion pieces (pro and con), both on public websites and in recognized publications.  Some are supported by expert opinions from advocacy "think tanks" which may be valuable in your research, such as the Center for American Progress (supporting the legislation) and the Heritage Foundation (opposing the legislation). In addition, a number of advocacy pieces have been posted on federal and state government websites representing these various opinions.

Ask Us

Your Question
Your Info
Fields marked with * are required.