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4:30 PM, July 9th, 2012
One day in the spring of 1989, Barack Obama and I found ourselves discussing a case whose relevance to the Supreme Court’s 2012 health-care decision neither of us could conceivably have anticipated at the time. I had recently hired Barack—I’ll call him that here because that’s what I called him then—as my principal research assistant, and he was helping me with a complicated law-review article about what lawyers can learn from modern physics. I can still recall him sitting on the floor of my law-school office on that particular day, a lanky kid in jeans and leather jacket, the sun streaming in through my windows, as we went back and forth discussing a Supreme Court decision that had been handed down several months earlier.
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