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Within minutes after President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act derisively referred to by some as the ÔÇ£ObamacareÔÇØ law the lawsuits started flying Literally dozens of suits were filed all across the country Some were frivolous but many others raised serious issues of federalism and the reach of Congress's power under the Commerce ClauseOf the initial spate of lawsuits ultimately six were decided by various trial courts on the merits of the Commerce Clause issue Three judges found the law constitutional and three others found it unconstitutional But since the issue is almost purely a question of law it is the same Commerce Clause and the same body of Supreme Court precedent interpreting it in all six cases the question arises why did these cases come out differentlyThe mainstream media has seized upon a political explanation the three judges who found the law constitutional were appointed by Democratic Presidents while the three judges who found the law unconstitutional were appointed by Republican Presidents This article challenges that assumption and suggests a more nuanced explanation each of the plaintiffs in these cases had different stories to tell The article explores narrative reasoning defined as normbased thinking instead of pure rulebased reasoning as a possible explanation for the divergent results in these cases

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