Skip to comments.Federal Judge Rules Congress Can Regulate "Mental Activity" Under Commerce Clause
Posted on 02/23/2011 8:10:37 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
A federal judge has upheld the national health care law, making it the fifth ruling on the merits of the legal challenges to the individual mandate.
The ruling by the Clinton appointee, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler of the District of Columbia continues the pattern of Democratic-appointed judges siding with the Obama administration and Republican judges siding with the plaintiffs in ruling the mandate unconstitutional. Kessler's ruling comes in a case brought by individual plaintiffs, where as the two decisions striking down the mandate have come in cases brought by 27 states, based in Virginia and Florida.
Like the other decisions upholding the law, the logic of Kessler's ruling demonstrates how broadly one has to interpret congressional powers to find the mandate constitutional. In something right out of Harrison Bergeron, Kessler notes that Washington has the authority to regulate "mental activity":
As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congresss power...However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not acting, especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
“Congress can regulate “Mental activity” under the interstate commerce clause? That’s a new one. “
Giving new meaning to the “Thought Police”?
If they tax it no democrat would have to pay.
Which is why the democrats have exemptions for their own? No mental activity to speak of.
This is a horrible, horrible ruling.
IOW Mind Control?
It must be so. How else to justify the thought police?
do i buy ins? no because i have va but i my wife and stepdaughter have it, we pay for it because wechoose to, it is smart to have ins. but no one should be forced to buy anything esp. by fedzilla!
Someone PLEASE tell me the original article came from “The ONION” or John Siemens or one of the other FR Satire favorites!
Ping John Siemens
It’s a twisted decision, to say the least. A lack of commercial activity is NOT commercial activity, any more than a lack of criminal activity IS criminal activity.
What a complete nut.
Nah. Just the realization of our worst nightmares. Nature imitating art.
These people and their pretzel logic. Is the Commerce Clause supreme now? Does it override everything in the Constitution and BOR? Does the govt now have the right to compulsory economic activity down to the most basic needs, completely overriding the 9th and 10th amendments? Idiocy.
I wish, but no.
Then ... Wisconsin is the LEAST of our PROBLEMS!!
Article I, Section 10 provides protection.
I wonder if that Judge can figure out what I’m thinking, right now...
Hope you have your tin-foil hat on!
“I wonder if that Judge can figure out what Im thinking, right now...”
You better stop it now, or they will send the ‘Mental Health Police’ after you.
They know where you live. They can track your ‘thoughts’!
The fix is in, and we are screwed.
What time does the Civil War start? I don't want to be late. My powder will be dry.
Bring it b*tches...
I guess the FTC will now have agents tailing Uri Geller?
When the courts will have a precedent before them of a court which extended its jurisdiction in opposition to an act of the legislature, is it not to be expected that they will extend theirs, especially when there is nothing in the constitution expressly against it? And they are authorised to construe its meaning, and are not under any control. This power in the judicial, will enable them to mould the government, into any shape they please. ..
They will be able to extend the limits of the general government gradually, and by insensible degrees, and to accommodate themselves to the temper of the people. Their decisions on the meaning of the constitution will commonly take place in cases which arise between individuals, with which the public will not be generally acquainted.
One adjudication will form a precedent to the next, and this to a following one. These cases will immediately affect individuals only, so that a series of determinations will probably take place before even the people will be informed of them. In the meantime all the art and address of those who wish for the change will be employed to make converts to their opinion.
The great Brutus
If you would like to be on my low volume ping list, please FReepmail me.
Congress can regulate Mental activity under the interstate commerce clause? Thats a new one.
Giving new meaning to the Thought Police?”””
Good Lord: EVERY single a person does in their daily living can be called ‘mental activity’.
Chose which clothes to wear on a daily basis?
Chose your food/meals?
Chose to go to your job & work or not?
Supremes have to step in sooner rather than later, IMO.
It is hard to write satire these days.
Reality itself has become a farce.
It’s EASY to be a leftist judge. Just phone in your ruling and go back to fund raising.
With that, they can regulate your decision to challenge them in court. Game over.
now we know why all the UNION THUGS are exempted from the law!!!
A few years ago, I would have LMAO at this kind of insanity...today, however, coming soon......
“It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not acting, especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.”
So, should we not also fine anyone who does not drive a car? We know that they are affirmatively deciding to avoid the gas taxes, resulting in a bigger burden to those that do drive to maintain the collectively benificial road system.
Sorry, no, its actually in the decision. See page 45, where the Judge erases the distinction between commercial activity and inactivity, between mental and physical action, theoretically opening the door to the regulation of, for example, a failure to think adoring thoughts of Big Brother, should such adoration be deemed necessary to commerce:”
This cannot stand, else the thought police follow quickly after.
Repealing the laws of physics! ROFL! Had not seen that before. Thanks!
The problem with comparing different cases, and doing the “democrat judges rule for the law, republicans don’t” is that they are not the same cases.
In this case, the plaintiff argued that a mental decision was not commerce, and therefore should not fall under the commerce clause. This judge ruled that this distinction was not viable.
But that’s not the same argument used by the states. Plus, the states had better grounds to sue because they are currently having to implement a law that they felt was unconstitutional, while an individual for the most part has yet to be effected by the individual mandate itself.
Individuals may not really get a standing to sue until one of them is forced to pay higher taxes because they didn’t buy insurance.
It is well-known that the two cases we won were the best-argued cases, the other cases have been individuals trying different angles.
The commerce clause has become to socialist America what the Enabling Act was to Hitler's Germany: the carte blanche for any power the government cares to exercise.
Progressives think that:
interstate commerce clause +
taxing & spending clause (general welfare clause)
Is all the really need.
All I can think of is if the Repubs don’t find their courage, CW2 is on the way.
That’s right. The SOB actually said he only needs one term.
Defund, defund, defund.
I thought the commerce clause pertains to INTERSTATE activity.
How do these bien-pensants of the judiciary know whether your mental activity is crossing state lines?