Skip to comments.Looking for Limits (Obamacare precedent would give U.S. government unlimited power over population)
Posted on 08/19/2011 5:01:32 PM PDT by rabscuttle385
The power to mandate health insurance is the power to mandate almost anything.
Under our system of government....Congress has only those powers that are explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, with the rest "reserved to the states respectively, or to the people"....An all-encompassing Commerce Clause that authorizes any mandate, restriction, or prohibition aimed at behavior that might affect interstate commerce (subject to specific limits such as those imposed by the Bill of Rights) is plainly inconsistent with this federal system.
he Obama administration therefore needs to explain why its constitutional rationale for the health insurance mandatethat the failure to obtain medical coverage, in the aggregate, has a "substantial effect" on interstate commercedoes not amount to such an open-ended license...
...if the Supreme Court ultimately upholds the unprecedented policy of mandating purchases in the name of regulating interstate commerce, future Congresses could decide there are sound reasons to make people buy other forms of insurance (to prevent cost shifting), exercise equipment (to reduce health care costs), double-pane windows (to conserve energy), or American cars (to stimulate the economy and support domestic manufacturers).
"Every day," the 11th Circuit observed, "Americans decide what products to buy, where to invest or save, and how to pay for future contingencies such as their retirement, their children's education, and their health care. The government contends that embedded in the Commerce Clause is the power to override these ordinary decisions and redirect those funds to other purposes."
Given the potential for wide-ranging controls over heretofore private decisions, you can see why this debate is not simply about arcane legal doctrines or arbitrary distinctions between state and federal powers. "While these structural limitations are often discussed in terms of federalism," the appeals court noted, "their ultimate goal is the protection of individual liberty."
(Excerpt) Read more at reason.com ...
The blue bus is callin’ us
The blue bus is callin’ us
Driver, where you taken’ us
The seriousness of this question cannot be overstated. If the individual mandate is not struck down as unconstitutional, the government will assume the authority to set whatever rules they want.
Is it the banks that own the insurance companies, or the insurance companies that own the banks?
Such a mandate props up the failing banks, and guarantees them constant income.
THE PLAN ALL ALONG
No more debt ceiling necessary.
Don’t forget Obama said he will make you “EAT YOUR PEAS”...
This power will now mean that Congress can legislate that you only drive a GREEN vehicle. You will be forced to participate in a government mandated exercise program to keep Obamacare costs down. When the government decides that you have outlived your usefullness then it can mandate that your life is forfeit.
Perfect timing for a remake of Logans Run.
For some strange reason, I think that when ObamaCare hits the Supreme Court, it will be an 8-1 decision in favor of upholding the individual mandate, with Justice Thomas the lone dissenter and the sole voice of liberty. Justices Kennedy, Alito and Roberts can be counted upon to side with the 4 liberals on the court (who have never found a piece of Commerce Clause legislation that they disagree with). Those seven justices will join together in one opinion. Justice Scalia will concur in the judgment and, writing separately, will state that Congress has the authority to compel you to purchase private insurance because uninsured people have an effect on the interstate market for health insurance, even if private health insurance is, in fact, mostly an intrastate market.
Commerce Clause - Born 1788, killed by the Supreme Court in 1942 (Wickard v. Filburn). Resurrected briefly in 1995 (United States v. Lopez) and 2000 (United States v. Morrison), only to be killed off again in 2005 (Gonzales v. Raich). One defender of the Commerce Clause on the court -- Justice Thomas. Justice Scalia was a defender of it in Lopez and Morrison, but because of his hatred of marijuana, he twisted the intent of the Necessary and Proper Clause and aided the liberals in their running roughshod over the Constitution.
You act as if they don’t do that already.
Such was always the intent of the War On (some) Drugs.
Maybe it’s an unfortunate side effect of it, but the real reason that we have a War on Drugs is that Richard Nixon viewed black people as his enemies. Richard Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H.R. Haldeman, kept a diary with Nixon quotes. Here’s the money quote: “[Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” Voila, the war on (some) drugs, as you put it, was born.
Well, well, here you are on more than one thread, assuring everyone that the Supreme Court is ready to affirm Obamacare with only Clarence Thomas dissenting.
What are you accomplishing by making such a prediction?
You are here to dispirit, to depress, to make people want to give up the fight.
There is no way you know any such thing is going to happen.
In actuality, however, what does the margin matter? Does it matter if it is affirmed by a vote of 5-3 or 8-1? Is it any more or less bad if it is affirmed by a smaller margin? No, it is horrible EITHER way. I was simply prognosticating as to what I thought the Supreme Court would do. I am stating FACT that there has only been ONE justice on the Supreme Court that has been willing to take a constitutional view of the Commerce Clause, and that justice is Clarence Thomas. You can insult me and tell me I'm wrong all you want, but I actually read most of the important opinions that SCOTUS releases every term and I know how their minds work.
Anyway, when the case goes before the Supreme Court, what are you going to do to change their minds? They're not Congress. I'm not trying to dispirit people about a law's chances in Congress, where enthusiasm and activism and passion could actually have an IMPACT. The Supreme Court justices are appointed for life and they are not accountable to anyone. Nothing anyone says on any internet forum is going to have ANY effect on their ruling.
Come on, please quibble with anything I said above, txrangerette. It's easy to call someone names when they say something you disagree with, but it's the mark of someone who doesn't have anything worthwhile to say about the topic.
P.S. — so much for your supposed “manners and decorum.”
Nice analysis. Thanks for the post.
Thank you. I was simply giving my opinion of what I thought would happen. While some people on here view that as defeatist, I don't think it is beating around the bush. While some on here like to pretend that the SCOTUS is comprised of constitutionalists, it is not. Justice Thomas is the only voice for limited government on the court. Often ignored and denigrated for never speaking in oral arguments, as well as for writing very brief opinions, his writings are always lucid and easy for a layman to understand. When you believe that the federal government is one of limited and enumerated powers as he does, you don't need to write very lengthy opinions.
Take a look at some choice quotes from Justice Thomas's dissent in Gonzales v. Raich, where the Supreme Court upheld the right of Congress to ban marijuana even where a state has legalized it for medical purposes. Such a decision makes a mockery of our federalist system, and Thomas aptly points that out:
"If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress' Article I powers -- as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause -- have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to "appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce."
"If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison's assurance to the people of New York that the "powers delegated" to the Federal Government are "few and defined", while those of the States are "numerous and indefinite."
Powerful stuff. We need eight more like Justice Thomas on the Court. I can guarantee you that he will vote to strike down ObamaCare. The fact that no legal commentator that I've listened to can guarantee that any of the other 3 "conservatives" will strike it down should be very disturbing to most of us.
P.S. — the primary reason why Scalia and Thomas split on Commerce Clause cases is because Scalia has a NASTY habit of respecting Supreme Court precedent, even when it is wrong. Roberts and Alito do the same thing. Thomas, on the other hand, says that we should look to the FOUNDERS to determine how they would have intended the Commerce Clause to operate. This is the only correct approach, in my opinion. Scalia respects the Court’s past incorrect interpretations of the Commerce Clause, even if he may disagree with them. Justice Thomas believes that two wrongs don’t make a right, and that bad law 70 years ago is still bad law. It doesn’t suddenly become good law after sitting out in the sun for awhile. The reason why his approach is best is that it limits the powers of the federal government and forces it to stay within the confines of the constitution. This is why you will sometimes see Clarence Thomas as the lone dissenter on a case. Others on here have criticized me for predicting that as a possibility, but it’s not hard to understand why he is often the lone dissenter.