Skip to comments.An Appeal to a Higher Court
Posted on 07/10/2012 3:30:41 PM PDT by Congressman Tom McClintock
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision on the so-called Affordable Care Act, the House will once again take up the imperative of repealing it.
But the Supreme Court decision has much more dire implications for our nation and its cherished freedoms than merely affirming the government takeover of our health care.
In reaching its conclusion, the Court obliterated a fundamental distinction between a penalty and a tax. Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes, and therefore, the Court reasons, it can apply a tax for any reason, even those otherwise outside the confines of the Constitution.
In this case, the Court ruled that Congress could not pass a law requiring citizens to purchase a government-approved health plan under the commerce clause, but it can enforce exactly the same requirement through a tax. Government cannot fine you for disobeying, but it can tax you for disobeying.
If the government fines you $250 for running a red light, or it taxes you $250 for running a red light, the effect is the same. Whats the difference? There are two critical differences.
First, as a fine as a penalty the burden of proof is on the government to prove that you ran that red light. As a tax, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did not run it. Anyone who has ever undergone an IRS audit knows exactly what I mean. This decision fundamentally alters the most cherished principle of our justice system: the presumption of innocence.
There is a second, even more chilling difference between a penalty and a tax. Under our Constitution, no penalty can be assessed without due process you cannot be punished until you have had your day in court. But to challenge a tax, you must pay first pay that tax before you can seek redress through the court. You are punished first, and then tried.
This is the madness of Lewis Carrolls Red Queen brought to life: Sentence first verdict afterwards.
Americans may now be coerced, under threat of seizure of their property, to take any action the federal government decrees without any Constitutional constraint, enforceable in a manner that denies both presumption of innocence and due process of law.
By this reasoning, we can now tax speech we find offensive, tax people who chose not to go to church or people who do; tax people who own guns or people who dont. As long as we call it a tax, there are no limits to the power of the Federal government under the decision of this court.
I believe this decision will go down in history as one of the most deplorable ever rendered, taking a place of infamy next to Dred Scott.
If the Court has failed to defend our Constitution, what appeal is left?
There is one. The Constitution does not belong to the Federal government. Its ownership is made clear in its first three words: We, The People. As Ronald Reagan said, The Constitution is not the governments document telling the people what we can and cannot do. The Constitution is the peoples document, telling our government those things we will allow it to do.
Thus, the Supreme Court is not the highest court in the land. That position is reserved to the rightful owners of the Constitution, the sovereign American people, through the votes they cast every two years.
The infamous Alien and Sedition Acts were never struck down by the Court the American people did that in the election of 1800. The Supreme Court declared American slaves outside the protection of the Constitution when it struck down the Missouri Compromise but the American people reversed that decision in the election of 1860.
Let us pray while we still can before that, too, is taxed -- that this infamous decision will be repudiated by what is actually and rightfully the highest court in the land -- the American people.
Hello. Pardon me, but has the congressman himself posted this or has his Congressional staff?
The court got it wrong and this opinion needs to be reduced to the ash heap of history. The entire basis of ‘Robert’s’ opinion is flawed and very dangerous.
It is high time that government at all levels is severely restricted on it's ability to raise and collect taxes. Let's throw in fines, fees, licenses, registrations, and any other name that some politician wants to call it. We are being bled to death by government largess and spending.
And this is the crux of the whole damn thing....more of the Constitutional protection shot out the court room window. Just ask yourself...and/or your congress critter ,"What would any of the Founders thought about this?"
Roberts and the majority rewrote the law, an unconstitutional act.
With increasing frequency, Congress boots actual law making power to executive agencies. All are unconstitutional acts in violation of Article I Section 1. There is no moral or legal imperative to obey such diktats, only the threat of punishment, which is common to totalitarian countries, not our republic.
Roberts correctly ruled that the Commerce Clause could not be applied to inaction.
And then he correctly ruled that taxpayers may be subject to the Obamacare penalty, because it was found in the section of the tax code that specifies that penalties constructed and applied in the way Congress constructed and applied Obamacare, were to be treated as taxes.
So Roberts correctly reasoned that IF these kinds penalties are to be treated as taxes by the tax code, AND Congress chose to deliberately put the Obamacare penalties there, THEN they are, in fact, taxes.
Get that: The equating of these kinds of penalties as taxes already existed in the tax code. Obamacare just pointed to them as said, "use that." Roberts didn't do this. He just pointed out - as a judge is supposed to do - what the law actually says.
But the good news is that, in all probability, you're NOT a "taxpayer" subject to the Obamacare tax penalty. Remember, Roberts pointed out that Obamacare itself specified that this tax penalty applied only to "taxpayers."
And in the case of Obamacare, the word "taxpayer" has a very narrow meaning that you probably don't fit.
Roberts knew this, and ruled that Obamacare therefore applied ONLY to those specified "taxpayers."
I'm not "interpreting" Roberts here - I'm just reading what the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court actually said, including the laws he actually pointed out in his ruling, and which Obamacare itself invoked in it's own construction. It's all right there in black-and-white, plain as day.
Read, and learn: