Skip to comments.Pam Bondi must sue again over Obamacare: SCOTUS rejected punishment tax!
Posted on 06/30/2012 2:50:44 PM PDT by JOHN W K
Justice Roberts` holding that Obamacare`s individual mandate is constitutional as a tax is not only an incoherent stretching of Congress` taxing authority, but defies the very limits of Congress` delegated powers which were carefully enumerated in our Constitution and subjoined to Art. I, § 8, cl.1 by our Founding Fathers ___ Obamacare being absent in the enumeration!
The Roberts ruling is immediately exposed for its absurdity when it is analyzed.
First, let us confirm beyond the shadow of doubt that Congress` taxing powers under imposts, duties, excises and direct taxes, whatever they may be, are limited by other provisions in our Constitution, e.g., the Court in the recent decision United States v. International Business Machines Corp. - 517 U.S. 843 (1996) struck down an excise tax as violating that part of our federal Constitution which declares: "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State." U. S. Const., Art. I, § 9, cl. 5.
And in EISNER v. MACOMBER , 252 U.S. 189 (1920) [after the Sixteenth Amendment was adopted] the Supreme Court reminded Congress that it was not empowered by the Sixteenth Amendment to tax, as income of a stockholder and without “apportionment“, a stock dividend made lawfully and in good faith, U. S. Const., Art. I, § 2, cl. 3, and, Art. I, § 9, cl. 4.
And so, although Congress has been granted power to lay and collect various kinds of taxes, each kind of tax has limits beyond which Congress may not venture when laying these taxes. Additionally, we must keep in mind that Congress’ taxing powers were granted for specific enumerated functions subjoined to Art. I, § 8, cl.1 (Clauses 2 through 11), and that Justice Roberts acknowledged the individual mandate tax cannot be sustained under Congress’ power to “regulate commerce“, one of Congress‘ enumerated functions subjoined to Art. I, § 8, cl.1, (see clause 3).
And now that it is established that the kinds of taxes Congress may lay and collect have limits beyond which Congress may not venture, and that Congress is likewise bound to laying and collecting taxes for specific enumerated functions listed beneath Art. I, § 8, cl.1, and that the individual mandate tax cannot be sustained under Congress’ power to “regulate commerce” as announced by Justice Roberts, nor has he pointed to any other function subjoined to Art. I, § 8, cl.1 which can sustain the individual mandate tax, we turn to the interesting question asking Roberts, is Congress authorized to lay a tax for the sole purpose of punishing an identifiable group of Citizens which is exactly what the individual mandate tax does?
And in regard to a tax not being a true tax but a punishment, the case Department of Revenue of Montana v. Kurth Ranch, 511 U.S. 767, 114 S.Ct. 1937, 128 L.Ed.2d 767 (1994), is quite instructive because the tax there was found to not be a true tax but a punishment and thus violated the 5th Amendment of our federal Constitution.
Bottom line is, the 26 States which filed suite against the individual mandate must now re-file and argue __ since Justice Roberts has identified the individual mandate as a tax ___ they must now challenge the tax in question as not being within the definition of an impost, duty, or excise as historically used and understood by our founding fathers. And since the individual mandate tax is not apportioned, it violates the command that direct taxes shall be apportioned among the States. The following formula may be considered as our Constitution‘s fair share formula:
----------------------- X SUM TO BE RAISED = STATE`S SHARE OF TAX
Total U.S. Pop.
In addition, the States must contend the tax goes far beyond the enumerated functions for which Congress may “Lay and collect Taxes” and are specifically listed beneath Art. I, § 8, cl.1, Obamacare not being included in that list of particulars!
And if there is any question as to the limited functions for which Congress may tax under Art. I, § 8, cl.1, let our founding fathers speak for themselves with reference to this provision and especially the phrase “general welfare” which appears in Art. I, § 8, cl.1:
In No. 83 Federalist, which is applicable to the meaning of “general welfare”, Hamilton, in crystal clear language refers to a “specification of particulars”which he goes on to say “evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority“. See Art. I, § 8, clauses 2 through 11, for the subjoined “specification of particulars”.
"...the power of Congress...shall extend to certain enumerated cases. This specification of particulars evidently excludes all pretension to a general legislative authority, because an affirmative grant of special powers would be absurd as well as useless if a general authority was intended..."
And, Madison, in No. 41 Federalist, explaining the meaning of the general welfare clause to gain the approval of the proposed constitution, states the following:
"It has been urged and echoed, that the power "to lay and collect taxes...to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and the general welfare of the United States amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare. No stronger proof could be given of the distress under which these writers labor [the anti federalists] for objections, than their stooping to such a misconstruction...But what color can this objection have, when a specification of the object alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not ever separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?...For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power...But the idea of an enumeration of particulars which neither explain nor qualify the general meaning...is an absurdity."
Likewise, in the Virginia ratification Convention Madison explains the general welfare phrase in the following manner so as to gain ratification of the constitution: "the powers of the federal government are enumerated; it can only operate in certain cases; it has legislative powers on defined and limited objects, beyond which it cannot extend its jurisdiction."[3 Elliots 95]
Also see Nicholas, 3 Elliot 443 regarding the general welfare clause, which he pointed out "was united, not to the general power of legislation, but to the particular power of laying and collecting taxes...."
Similarly , George Mason, in the Virginia ratification Convention informs the convention
"The Congress should have power to provide for the general welfare of the Union, I grant. But I wish a clause in the Constitution, with respect to all powers which are not granted, that they are retained by the states. Otherwise the power of providing for the general welfare may be perverted to its destruction.". [3 Elliots 442]
For this very reason the Tenth Amendment was quickly ratified to intentionally put to rest any question whatsoever regarding the general welfare clause as being a general legislative grant of power, and thereby cut off the pretext to allow Congress to extended its powers via the wording provide for the “general welfare“.
And so, although Justice Roberts has sustained the individual mandate as a tax, he has not established which taxing authority [impost, duty, excise or direct tax] is used, nor the function for which the tax is being laid, and if it is laid to fulfill a function within the list of particulars subjoined to Art. I, § 8, cl.1.which enumerate the constitutionally authorized functions for which Congress may tax.
Hopefully Florida’s AG, Pam Bondi, will take the lead and challenge the individual mandate tax for the above stated reasons and have our Constitution‘s clearly defined limitations and protections reaffirmed.
"If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"___ Justice Story
Regardless of penalties or apportionment, the SC has approved taxation as a means of sustaining Obamacare, that's all the room needed to weasel the application.
No one should expect that the majority of those who refuse to buy insurance, and are not covered by the hand full of employers who will continue to provide it, are outside of the 47% who pays no tax today.
(After all, that's a huge percentage of the dem's voter base...frequently more than once per election.)
The same income exemptions that leave them paying nothing and/or collecting a rebate for money they didn't pay into the system will assure that no government will actually charge them a tax for not being insured. The fed's already define them as exempt from taxes!
For now Obamacare is a reality, and it can be supported by new taxes; unless it's repealed, those taxes are going to be redirected to apply to you and me, the non-rich, not overly poor, taxpaying and insurance buying, middle class.
(Sorry, but it's only a mini-rant.)
So is this a two part quiz?...
In that, once ALL the SCOTUS agrees it is a tax..
You then can challenge if it is a LEGAL tax under the powers granted under the Constitution?
Did this box it the courts left being able to save Obama care if it is challenge as a LEGAL tax in a 2nt round?
...Remember a tax can not be challenge till it is first levied...is this rulings a poison pill for months from now after the election?
John, this a masterful dissection of CJ Roberts’ disastrous and insane ruling. Thank you for posting it. It clearly shows Roberts either misread or ignored the Constitution when rendering his majority opinion.
As was suggested upthread, please consider routing this write-up to Pam Bondi with all due haste. This is the Roberts Rule Killer.
Office of Attorney General
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
http://myfloridalegal.com/contact.nsf/contact?Open&Section=Attorney_General for email
I think Pam needs all the encouragement we can give her!
It should be attacked and litigated against from every conceivable position until it has a stake through its heart and Roberts is publicly shown to be a fool.
The thirteenth amendment should also be raised, as we are now coerced to work to pay a tax or be forced to work to pay for insurance. Unlike income tax where we are taxed on the fruits of our labor and investments, we are now able to be taxed for not laboring (minimum income notwithstanding)
Roberts has enslaved all of America...and killed John Galt
While I found Cain’s 999 appealing, there is a roadblock in that sales tax is not really constitutional, and would require a constitutional amendment. As should Obama care
I see our so-call conservative talking heads on TV working their magic to befuddle and confuse the people, pretending that the Roberts’ opinion sets a "minefield" for our Washington Establishment pinko crowd.
Make no mistake! If the Roberts’ ruling is not appealed, and the assumed mandate’s taxing power exercised under the ruling is not questioned as being unconstitutional and overturned, it will set the stage for Congress to exercise a limitless direct taxing power to enforce whatever whim and fancy Congress may dream up, and it will be used to dwarf the suffering we have experienced for generations under the misapplication of Congress’ power to regulate commerce.
Regardless if Obamacare is actually repealed as proposed and promised by the Republican Party leadership, the Robert’s opinion regarding taxation opens the door to an unbridled direct taxing authority, and the ruling will constantly be pointed to in the future as a valid taxing authority of Congress. This taxing authority must not be allowed to stand!
Hopefully Pam Bondi and the 26 States will appeal the Roberts’ ruling and challenge it on the reasons regarding taxation which I summarized at the top of the thread. If it is not overturned then Representation with proportional financial obligation our founder’s check to deal with democracy, will have met its death and the larger populated states will use their greater representation in Congress to constantly plunder our national treasury. Always keep in mind when talking taxation and representation our Constitution’s fair share formulas:
_________ X House membership (435) = State`s No.of Reps
Pop. of U.S.
_________ X SUM TO BE RAISED = STATE`S FAIR SHARE
And if there is any question as to why this rule of apportionment was adopted, keep in mind what Mr. PENDLETON stated during the ratification debates of our existing Constitution and with regard to the new rule of apportioning both direct taxes and representatives:
“The apportionment of representation and taxation by the same scale is just; it removes the objection, that, while Virginia paid one sixth part of the expenses of the Union, she had no more weight in public counsels than Delaware, which paid but a very small portion”3 Elliot’s 41 Also see Act laying a direct tax for $3 million in which the rule of apportionment is applied and each State’s Congressional Delegation returned home with a bill in hand for their State’s Governor and Legislature to deal with. And then see Section 7 of direct tax of 1813 allowing states to raise and pay their respective quotas in their own chosen way and be entitled to certain deductions in meeting their payment on time.
The only ones who win under Obama/Roberts’care are thieves and parasites ___ all others pay cash!
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