November 3, 2020 marks the five-year anniversary of publication of Prof. Michael Roffer’s book, The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law. The book explores 250 of some of the most significant, far-reaching, and often controversial cases, laws, and trials that have changed our world—for good and bad.
This five-year anniversary falls on election day, with a presidential election enveloped in acrimony and controversy. Two highly charged legal disputes that underlay some of the political battle comprise the last two entries in the book—the Affordable Care Act (2012) and The Legal Fight for Gay Marriage (2015)—which address the Supreme Court decisions that upheld the Affordable Care Act and affirmed the constitutional right of gay couples to marry.
Despite the seeming resolution of those issues eight and five years ago, respectively, both have reemerged as hot-button topics in this year’s presidential election and the recent confirmation hearings for Justice Amy Coney Barrett. (The politicization of the Supreme Court appointment and confirmation process is another topic covered in the book, Robert Bork’s Supreme Court Nomination (1987) and Confirming Clarence Thomas (1991).)