Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Federal Judge Rules Congress Can Regulate "Mental Activity" Under Commerce Clause
The American Spectator ^ | February 22, 2011 | Philip Klein

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 Congress’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: commerceclause; constitution; dc; gladyskessler; healthcare; individualmandate; judgekessler; kessler; obamacare; tinfoilhatneeded
Congress can regulate "Mental activity" under the interstate commerce clause? That's a new one.
1 posted on 02/23/2011 8:10:45 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

“Congress can regulate “Mental activity” under the interstate commerce clause? That’s a new one. “

Giving new meaning to the “Thought Police”?


2 posted on 02/23/2011 8:12:22 AM PST by vanilla swirl (We are the Patrick Henry we have been waiting for!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

If they tax it no democrat would have to pay.


3 posted on 02/23/2011 8:12:28 AM PST by null and void (We are now in day 764 of our national holiday from reality. - It's almost 3 AM)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

Bfltr


4 posted on 02/23/2011 8:13:09 AM PST by mnehring
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void

Which is why the democrats have exemptions for their own? No mental activity to speak of.

Ugh.

This is a horrible, horrible ruling.


5 posted on 02/23/2011 8:13:46 AM PST by BenKenobi (Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong. - Silent Cal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

IOW Mind Control?


6 posted on 02/23/2011 8:16:07 AM PST by tiredoflaundry (I will not be silenced. Winners do not compromise!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

It must be so. How else to justify the thought police?


7 posted on 02/23/2011 8:17:10 AM PST by swain_forkbeard (Rationality may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mnehring

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!


8 posted on 02/23/2011 8:20:47 AM PST by Grunthor (Started the HCG diet yesterday. Down 4 lbs today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

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


9 posted on 02/23/2011 8:20:50 AM PST by gwilhelm56 (Egypt 2011 = Iran 1979)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

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.


10 posted on 02/23/2011 8:21:11 AM PST by swain_forkbeard (Rationality may not be sufficient, but it is necessary.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: swain_forkbeard

What a complete nut.


11 posted on 02/23/2011 8:21:16 AM PST by scooby321
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl
Giving new meaning to the “Thought Police”?

Nah. Just the realization of our worst nightmares. Nature imitating art.

12 posted on 02/23/2011 8:21:45 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (Every knife in my back pushes me forward.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: BenKenobi

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.


13 posted on 02/23/2011 8:22:45 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: gwilhelm56

I wish, but no.


14 posted on 02/23/2011 8:22:57 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

Then ... Wisconsin is the LEAST of our PROBLEMS!!


15 posted on 02/23/2011 8:24:43 AM PST by gwilhelm56 (Egypt 2011 = Iran 1979)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: null and void
In this day and age doesn't this amount to a Bill of Attainder directed against Conservatives?

Article I, Section 10 provides protection.

16 posted on 02/23/2011 8:24:49 AM PST by Aevery_Freeman (It's not the *Prince of Fools* but rather the *fools* that are the problem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

I wonder if that Judge can figure out what I’m thinking, right now...


17 posted on 02/23/2011 8:26:39 AM PST by Noamie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Noamie

Hope you have your tin-foil hat on!

;)


18 posted on 02/23/2011 8:28:47 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Free Vulcan
Wait until the First Wookie realizes that she can control the “mental activity” of the decision to Supersize!
19 posted on 02/23/2011 8:29:33 AM PST by Aevery_Freeman (It's not the *Prince of Fools* but rather the *fools* that are the problem)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Noamie

“I wonder if that Judge can figure out what I’m 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’!

Muaaaaa!

:>)


20 posted on 02/23/2011 8:29:59 AM PST by Bigh4u2 (Denial is the first requirement to be a liberal)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

21 posted on 02/23/2011 8:31:14 AM PST by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction
In something right out of Harrison Bergeron, Kessler notes that Washington has the authority to regulate "mental activity"

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.

22 posted on 02/23/2011 8:33:25 AM PST by backwoods-engineer (Any politician who holds that the state accords rights is an oathbreaker and an "enemy... domestic.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

Bring it b*tches...


23 posted on 02/23/2011 8:33:44 AM PST by Dead Corpse (III%. The last line in the sand)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

I guess the FTC will now have agents tailing Uri Geller?


24 posted on 02/23/2011 8:50:07 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction
The judicial power will operate to effect, in the most certain, but yet silent and imperceptible manner, what is evidently the tendency of the constitution: I mean, an entire subversion of the legislative, executive and judicial powers of the individual states. Every adjudication of the supreme court, on any question that may arise upon the nature and extent of the general government, will affect the limits of the state jurisdiction. In proportion as the former enlarge the exercise of their powers, will that of the latter be restricted...

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

25 posted on 02/23/2011 8:50:14 AM PST by Huck (one per-center)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brytlea; Diana in Wisconsin; Kakaze; Tammy8; unkus; metmom; Cap Huff; svcw; leapfrog0202; Concho; ..
POLITICAL PING

If you would like to be on my low volume ping list, please FReepmail me.

26 posted on 02/23/2011 8:50:30 AM PST by greyfoxx39 ("This administration has turned off America's beacon to the world for freedom and left darkness")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: vanilla swirl

“Congress can regulate “Mental activity” under the interstate commerce clause? That’s 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?

EVERYTHING!!

Supremes have to step in sooner rather than later, IMO.


27 posted on 02/23/2011 8:50:40 AM PST by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: gwilhelm56

It is hard to write satire these days.

Reality itself has become a farce.


28 posted on 02/23/2011 8:53:26 AM PST by allmendream (Tea Party did not send the GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

It’s EASY to be a leftist judge. Just phone in your ruling and go back to fund raising.


29 posted on 02/23/2011 8:56:49 AM PST by Oldpuppymax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction
Congress can regulate "Mental activity" under the interstate commerce clause? That's a new one.

With that, they can regulate your decision to challenge them in court. Game over.

30 posted on 02/23/2011 8:57:15 AM PST by tacticalogic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

now we know why all the UNION THUGS are exempted from the law!!!


31 posted on 02/23/2011 8:58:02 AM PST by browniexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

32 posted on 02/23/2011 8:58:12 AM PST by Uncle Miltie ("And did you exchange a walk on part in a war, for a lead role in a cage?")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Buckeye McFrog
From the article..."I look forward to liberals trying to defend the notion that feds have the right to regulate mental activity. As the political fires have intensified, more and more liberals are letting the slip the full extent of their ambitions for power."

A few years ago, I would have LMAO at this kind of insanity...today, however, coming soon......

work is done

33 posted on 02/23/2011 9:02:47 AM PST by greyfoxx39 ("This administration has turned off America's beacon to the world for freedom and left darkness")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

“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.


34 posted on 02/23/2011 9:05:23 AM PST by CSM (Keeper of the "Dave Ramsey Fan" ping list. FReepmail me if you want your beeber stuned.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: gwilhelm56

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:”

http://www.politico.com/static/PPM152_110222_mead_memo.html

This cannot stand, else the “thought police” follow quickly after.


35 posted on 02/23/2011 9:15:33 AM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

36 posted on 02/23/2011 9:25:01 AM PST by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: musicman

Great picture!


37 posted on 02/23/2011 9:32:24 AM PST by algernonpj (He who pays the piper . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

Law of Physics

38 posted on 02/23/2011 9:48:44 AM PST by Foolsgold (L I B Lacking in Brains)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Foolsgold

Repealing the laws of physics! ROFL! Had not seen that before. Thanks!


39 posted on 02/23/2011 9:52:42 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction; bamahead; DJ MacWoW; wagglebee; little jeremiah; greyfoxx39; Sopater; ...

ping


40 posted on 02/23/2011 10:02:03 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

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.


41 posted on 02/23/2011 10:03:27 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction
The commerce clause is rapidly becoming to the new socialist America what the Enabling Act was to Hitler's Germany: the carte blanche for any power the government cares to exercise.
42 posted on 02/23/2011 10:05:03 AM PST by Campion
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Campion
The commerce clause is rapidly becoming to the new socialist America what the Enabling Act was to Hitler's Germany: the carte blanche for any power the government cares to exercise.

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.

fixed.

43 posted on 02/23/2011 10:06:59 AM PST by SeeSac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Campion

Progressives think that:

interstate commerce clause +
taxing & spending clause (general welfare clause)

Is all the really need.


44 posted on 02/23/2011 10:11:26 AM PST by ConjunctionJunction
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: metmom

All I can think of is if the Repubs don’t find their courage, CW2 is on the way.


45 posted on 02/23/2011 10:12:55 AM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: greyfoxx39

That’s right. The SOB actually said he only needs one term.

Defund, defund, defund.


46 posted on 02/23/2011 10:17:03 AM PST by goldi (')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ConjunctionJunction

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?


47 posted on 02/23/2011 10:41:33 AM PST by freespirited (Truth is the new hate speech. -- Pamela Geller)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson