Skip to comments.Tax-raising Affordable Care Act started in wrong house of Congress
Posted on 05/05/2014 1:30:22 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee
Sissel v. United States Department of Health & Human Services
Status: Plaintiff appealed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Apppeals on Jul. 5, 2013. Briefing completed Dec. 20, 2013. Oral argument scheduled for May 8, 2014.
Summary: Pacific Legal Foundation has launched a new constitutional cause of action against the federal Affordable Care Act. The ACA imposes a charge on Americans who fail to buy health insurance a charge that the U.S. Supreme Court recently characterized as a federal tax. PLFs amended complaint alleges that this purported tax is illegal because it was ntroduced in the Senate rather than the House, as required by the Constitutions Origination Clause for new revenue-raising bills (Article I, Section 7).
The Origination Clause argument is part of an amended complaint filed in PLFs existing lawsuit against the ACA, Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, pending before Judge Beryl A. Howell, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
PLFs Sissel lawsuit was on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considered the challenge to the ACA from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and 26 states, in NFIB v. Sebelius. As initially filed, PLFs Sissel lawsuit targeted the ACAs individual mandate to buy health insurance as a violation of the Constitutions Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8).
The Supreme Court agreed with this position, in the NFIB ruling. However, Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by four justices, characterized the ACAs charge as a federal tax, because it requires a payment to the federal government from people who decide not to buy health insurance.
That holding prompted PLFs new cause of action. . .
(Excerpt) Read more at pacificlegal.org ...
I believe the Rats in the Senate saw this coming and gutted a House bill and replaced the contents by amendment. It’s apparently an old trick. If the courts outlaw it, that would be sweet!
Who follows the rule of law anymore?
Hey snuck this one in on me !
Voiding obamacare on a “Constitutional technicality” is a reach in this political climate.
but it would be hugh
Didn’t they take some House bill, strip it empty, and then put in the Senate version of the bill so that they could get around this requirement? I thought that’s what they did. If so, is the argument that it is not enough to have a House-numbered bill, it actually has to be a House bill? Will be a highly technical argument that the libs won’t give two craps about.
Given Roberts jumped through hoops to break the constitution to legalize this in the first place, I have little belief they will uphold the constitution this time.
It may be a technicality but it’s a big one.
Not to mention the political climate is strongly anti-obamacare.
I don’t expect this corrupt SC to do the right thing. They would NEVER admit they made a mistake. NEVER!
Although it was only the House Democrats who voted for it.
The question for the Court should be, if the Senate bill, as is, were originated in its current form in the House, would THAT bill initially have been voted out successfully?
It's one thing to force a majority vote on confirming the Senate-changed bill. It's quite another to make the leap that it implies that the House could have successfully passed that same bill in the first place.
Everyone knows that the House has to pass the exact Senate-amended bill, so they are careful not to amend it themselves, forcing another pass back to the Senate.
That's not the same situation when passing the original bill in the first place. House amendment rules would apply, and opposition Representatives would be proposing amendments, and drafting committees would be negotiating compromises, so that the first bill out would not look like the amended one that came back.
If SCOTUS upholds this Senate-back-door attempt to originate revenue bills, then that is a Senate power-grab of one of the few unique powers of the House.
Remember, the House has the unique power to impeach, to originate revenue bills, and to resolve electoral college votes which fail to meet the majority. The Senate has the power to try impeachments, and of advice and consent of Executive appointees.
Now, the Senate also has the power to originate revenue bills, too.
No, oral arguments are Thursday in the D.C. Court of Appeals not the Supreme Court.
The article you posted yesterday from WaPo was regarding this case is excellent.
For the record, here’s a comment I posted in yesterday’s thread about why Obamacare doesn’t meet precedential exceptions to the Origination Clause (IANAL):
Obamacare doesn’t meet the first exception because, as George Will wrote, the proceeds go to the Treasury for the general operations of the federal government, not to fund a particular program,” and as Chief Justice Roberts wrote, the penalty is “paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individuals taxes, and ‘shall be assessed and collected in the same manner’ as tax penalties.
Obamacare doesn’t meet the second exception because, as Chief Justice Roberts wrote, the individual mandate penalty is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are and there are no negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS, which means the penalty is not a fine assessed to punish unlawful conduct.
Chief Justice Roberts may yet turn out to be a magnificent b-——d. We shall see.
I seem to recall that, too.
Iirc there were a couple of freepers who promoted this argument when many were calling Roberts just the b-——d. Stating he’d set it up to be unconstitutional. Just had not seen any action on this premise
Am waiting in anxious anticipation for the MAGNIFICATION !
it would be such a sweet just dessert.
I seem to recall some defense of John Roberts in so far as he deliberately planted this option with his decision.
However, assuming that he was fully aware of the origin of obamacare at the time of his tax ruling, I cannot get my hopes up that he will somehow craft a ruling that negates it on this basis.
The United States Constitution Article I. Section 7.
“All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;
but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”
(Q. 1) - Was this a bill for raising revenue?
(Q. 2.) - Did it originate in the House?
(Q. 3) - Does “may propose amendments” include replacing the entire title and text of a bill
with a new title and new text because the original bill number remained intact?
(Q. 4) - When the House accepted the senate bill, did the House cede their power to object?
In the mean time it’s given he American people time to wake up a bit!
I recall that. There were some who thought it was pure genius on his part. We shall see.
I asked Shannon Bream (on Twitter) to report on it for us. She said she is keeping an eye on it. So, we should get word from her on Thursday.
“(Q. 4) - When the House accepted the senate bill, did the House cede their power to object?”
That would seem to be a “legal” question, not a Constitutional one.
The question should be: Did the House violate the Constitution? insofar as the Constitution does not provide for the option for the House to cede this power.
The bill started in the house, the contents of the bill started in the Senate.
The SC has no integrity.
The math is easy.
Yeah I don’t buy that Roberts was so smart he’s setting it up to be declared unconstitutional.
He had an opportunity to void the whole thing and twisted logic to declare it a tax.
Respect her opinion.
With any case it combining the correct premise with parties. Out and out there doesn’t appear to be any glaring errors unlike the BC cases — who never held the perpetrator’s feet to the fire
We shall see!
But ya, my money says this is going nowhere.
That was my chief complaint initially and I thought it would fail in the courts.
Many friends insisted they didn’t care how it happened, only that it got done.
Tried to explain they couldn’t complain if the R’s eventually pulled the same thing.
I just want to be able to tweet that liberal stenographer , “ it’s UNCONSTITUTIONAL , bit*hes!”
Those are not the specific legal issues involved, but certainly practical considerations would have an impact on the thinking of those justices who are willing to bend the constitution. A revenue bill that does not originate in the House is not made valid if the House later votes to approve it, whether on a party line vote or not. There are reasons why the founders wanted revenue bills to come from the representatives of the people, not the representatives of the states. That does not mean that Roberts won’t ignore his duty.
“Voiding obamacare on a Constitutional technicality is a reach in this political climate.
but it would be hugh”
Yep, it would really be series! All your base are belong to us! LOL.
They wouldn't have to .... they did not address this argument last time at all, and I wondered afterward whether Roberts had deliberately set this up by declaring the (anti-XIVth-Amendment) penalty a "tax", as payback for using his adopted boys against him to twist his arm.
Or so I wondered.
It could be that the constitutional lawyer on the other end of Roberts's midnight phone call extracted a more expansive promise, always to find all aspects of Sovietcare constitutional every time, or else.
If that's the case, we're screwed.
1. It raises significant revenue, which is general revenue and not reserved for special programs.
2. No. The bill # was assigned in the House. The text originated in the Senate. The House did not vote on the bill; they voted on a parliamentary procedure and “deemed” the bill passed.
3. Not historically. See the U.S. Constitution and associated amendments. Said amendments do not replace the entire text of the document.
4. Matters not. The House cannot delegate an enumerated power to the Senate by omission or any other means that I can see.
The ACA is only illegal if the Supreme Court still recognizes the Constitution as the supreme law of America. They don’t!
I gazed into my crystal ball.
The the court will eventually “sever” the revenue portions and let stand the remainder of the bill.
Thanks for your insight.
Magic 8 Ball says ...
Ask again later.
Magic 8 Ball says ...
Magic 8 Ball never lies!
I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. So, you’re welcome. ;p
May you live in interesting times.
Lies, deception, deceipt, bribes, tricks, scams, total bullsh*t. Typical Marxocrats.
The other two curses:
May you come to the attention of those in authority.
May you find what you are looking for.
It was not a bill raising revenue originally...even if the senate amended the bill to an empty husk...the bill originally did not raise revenue until the senate amended it. The amending of the bill to raise revenue does not dilute it’s unconstitutional origin.
Though the bill number originally came from the house, the amendment making it a revenue bill came from the senate there-bye making it an end run around the constitution.
The senate can propose amendments to a bill but they can’t replace the entire bill’s raison d’etre without it becoming a new bill entirely. The court should strike it down just on that basis, forcing the legislature to be more honest and direct about its law making. The senate did what it did because the congress had cold feet and wasn’t moving fast enough for chuckie shumer and hairless reid.
As for the house accepting the senate bill, that is where the Court may punt on this suit. It may simply note that since the house has not sent any representatives to initiate or support the law suit, the question will become one of standing to sue and that is where the court will rule.