Moot Court on the Rationing of Health Care

Feb 27, 2010


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National Constitution Center | Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution

A moot court hearing was held testing the constitutionality of rationing health care in a hypothetical case of a non-citizen being denied a life-saving vaccine. The case of Obasanjo v. Morrison postulated a massive .. Read More
A moot court hearing was held testing the constitutionality of rationing health care in a hypothetical case of a non-citizen being denied a life-saving vaccine. The case of Obasanjo v. Morrison postulated a massive outbreak of the “Simian” influenza in 2020. With the vaccine in short supply, Congress passed a law that gave priority to administer the vaccine to health care workers, pregnant women, and children without making any reference to citizenship. The Arizona state legislature interpreted the law to grant the state authority to impose a citizenship based priority for the vaccine. Isoke Obasanjo was an immigrant who lawfully resided in the U.S. for two years and was recently granted asylum. At two months pregnant she went to a clinic in Tucson to get vaccinated but was turned away because she was not a U.S. citizen. Pepperdine University Dean Kenneth Starr represented Ms. Obasanjo and Georgetown Law Professor Nina Pillard represented the state of Arizona. 
“A Moot Court: Rationing Health Care” was a program of the fourth annual Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution held by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. It took place on Saturday, February 27, 2010, at 1:00 p.m. in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

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