Skip to comments.George Will: Is there no limit to Congressís power?
Posted on 11/19/2011 11:23:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Shortly before the Supreme Court agreed to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacares individual mandate, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed its constitutionality. Writing for the majority, Judge Laurence H. Silberman, a Reagan appointee, brusquely acknowledged that upholding the mandate means there is no limit to Congresss powers under the Commerce Clause. Fortunately, Silbermans stark assertion may strengthen the counterargument. Silberman forces the Supreme Courts five conservatives to face the sobering implications of affirming the power asserted with the mandate.
Does Congresss enumerated power to regulate interstate commerce empower it to compel individuals, as a condition of living in the United States, to engage in a commercial activity? If any activity, or inactivity, can be said to have economic consequences, can it be regulated or required by Congress? Can Congress forbid the inactivity of not purchasing a product (health insurance) from a private provider? Silberman says yes:
We acknowledge some discomfort with the governments failure to advance any clear doctrinal principles limiting congressional mandates that any American purchase any product or service in interstate commerce. But to tell the truth, those limits are not apparent to us, either because the power to require the entry into commerce is symmetrical with the power to prohibit or condition commercial behavior, or because we have not yet perceived a qualitative limitation. That difficulty is troubling, but not fatal, not least because we are interpreting the scope of a long-established constitutional power, not recognizing a new constitutional right.(continued)
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Is there any cause that would NOT be permitted to tap into this loophole’s power? Previous attempts to do mandates characterized them as taxes. Now we’re presuming to mandate sales. Would economic impossibility of sustaining such a system be a sufficient excuse for failure to do that?
Maybe it’s time for a con-con, or to schedule it the next time there is a Republican majority in Washington. Before the chicken littles screech, it’s well to note that a con-con couldn’t get anything added to the constitution without the nod of 38 states, no matter what garbage gets proposed and put on the table. No liberal wet dream will get by all of 38 states however chosen. Some conservative restrictions of Federal government power might.
This would mean that Congress has the power to compel you to buy a computer, a car, a house or anything else and fine or jail you if you fail to do so.
If this is upheld then there should be open revolt.
A Con-Con can give us the Communist Manifesto.
A simple amendment would be better.
Congress shall make no law governing the private economic actions of individuals.
or something like that.
38 states could not be found which would all pass a Communist Manifesto, Ms. Little.
That "may" be how the court rules. If so, the "limit" to Congress's power will be reached in November of 2012.....scorched earth....
Right. It could never happen here.
Is it possible in best case to turn the Senate completely GOP, even past the known wafflers?
Adding more justices to the Court would be a way a conservative Congress with a conservative President (somebody like Cain, not like Newt) could cement an advantage. Hey if FDR can pack it, why not Cain?
Your sarcasm fails. The hazard is in the administration of it, which is why it should happen under a conservative Congress.
lol. The delegates to the Con-Con are not decided by Congress.
The left controls the media, schools, colleges, bureaucracies, unions etc etc and they will all demand a seat at the table.
38 won’t be found to pass a good new Constitution either
That’s what I said, all manner of garbage can go on the table; no 38 states will be found to give the nod to any of the garbage.
I doubt we will ever see a Conservative Senate, its full of RINO’s.
It goes to state LEGISLATURES. That can’t be pranked.
In the 1st article, 8th section, it is declared, “that Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence, and general welfare of the United States.” In the preamble, the intent of the constitution, among other things, is declared to be to provide for the common defence, and promote the general welfare, and in this clause the power is in express words given to Congress “to provide for the common defence, and general welfare.” And in the last paragraph of the same section there is an express authority to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution this power. It is therefore evident, that the legislature under this constitution may pass any law which they may think proper. It is true the 9th section restrains their power with respect to certain objects. But these restrictions are very limited, some of them improper, some unimportant, and others not easily understood, as I shall hereafter shew. It has been urged that the meaning I give to this part of the constitution is not the true one, that the intent of it is to confer on the legislature the power to lay and collect taxes, etc. in order to provide for the common defence and general welfare. To this I would reply, that the meaning and intent of the constitution is to be collected from the words of it, and I submit to the public, whether the construction I have given it is not the most natural and easy. But admitting the contrary opinion to prevail, I shall nevertheless, be able to shew, that the same powers are substantially vested in the general government, by several other articles in the constitution. It invests the legislature with authority to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, in order to provide for the common defence, and promote the general welfare, and to pass all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying this power into effect. To comprehend the extent of this authority, it will be requisite to examine 1st. what is included in this power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises.
2d. What is implied in the authority, to pass all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying this power into execution.
3d. What limitation, if any, is set to the exercise of this power by the constitution.
1st. To detail the particulars comprehended in the general terms, taxes, duties, imposts and excises, would require a volume, instead of a single piece in a news-paper. Indeed it would be a task far beyond my ability, and to which no one can be competent, unless possessed of a mind capable of comprehending every possible source of revenue; for they extend to every possible way of raising money, whether by direct or indirect taxation. Under this clause may be imposed a poll-tax, a land-tax, a tax on houses and buildings, on windows and fire places, on cattle and on all kinds of personal property: It extends to duties on all kinds of goods to any amount, to tonnage and poundage on vessels, to duties on written instruments, newspapers, almanacks, and books: It comprehends an excise on all kinds of liquors, spirits, wines, cyder, beer, etc. and indeed takes in duty or excise on every necessary or conveniency of life; whether of foreign or home growth or manufactory. In short, we can have no conception of any way in which a government can raise money from the people, but what is included in one or other of three general terms. We may say then that this clause commits to the hands of the general legislature every conceivable source of revenue within the United States. Not only are these terms very comprehensive, and extend to a vast number of objects, but the power to lay and collect has great latitude; it will lead to the passing a vast number of laws, which may affect the personal rights of the citizens of the states, expose their property to fines and confiscation, and put their lives in jeopardy: it opens a door to the appointment of a swarm of revenue and excise officers to pray [sic] upon the honest and industrious part of the community, eat up their substance, and riot on the spoils of the country.
2d. We will next enquire into what is implied in the authority to pass all laws which shall be necessary and proper to carry this power into execution.
It is, perhaps, utterly impossible fully to define this power. The authority granted in the first clause can only be understood in its full extent, by descending to all the particular cases in which a revenue can be raised; the number and variety of these cases are so endless, and as it were infinite, that no man living has, as yet, been able to reckon them up. The greatest geniuses in the world have been for ages employed in the research, and when mankind had supposed that the subject was exhausted they have been astonished with the refined improvements that have been made in modem times, and especially in the English nation on the subject If then the objects of this power cannot be comprehended, how is it possible to understand the extent of that power which can pass all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying it into execution? It is truly incomprehensible. A case cannot be conceived of, which is not included in this power. It is well known that the subject of revenue is the most difficult and extensive in the science of government. It requires the greatest talents of a statesman, and the most numerous and exact provisions of the legislature. The command of the revenues of a state gives the command of every thing in it. He that has the purse will have the sword, and they that have both, have every thing; so that the legislature having every source from which money can be drawn under their direction, with a right to make all laws necessary and proper for drawing forth all the resource of the country, would have, in fact, all power.
Were I to enter into the detail, it would be easy to shew how this power in its operation, would totally destroy all the powers of the individual states. But this is not necessary for those who will think for themselves, and it will be useless to such as take things upon trust, nothing will awaken them to reflection, until the iron hand of oppression compel them to it.
What it comes down to is this. Congress cannot mandate that you purchase insurance. Congress *can* see that the service is provided and tax you for it.
They don’t have to nationalize the medical profession. It would be done by nationalizing the Insurance industry.
Though I believe I am a strong conservative/libertarian, I do believe that this is the way it should be done.
I also believe I’m practical and that *this* government, in its current form and method of dysfunction brought on by ever increasing liberal-facism tendencies couldn’t possibly do this in a successful manner.
“I doubt we will ever see a Conservative Senate, its full of RINOs.”
So true. In fact, there’s probably one under your bed.
“Open revolt” means, at the very least:
1. You, personally, will be cuffed, booked, jailed, charged, tried, and, if found guilty, imprisoned;
2. You will lose your job and/or business, and with it your income;
3. You family will suffer both economic hardship and the emotional trauma of having a criminal for a father;
4. Your plans for the future will be drastically curtailed, delayed, or eliminated;
5. Upon release, you will be ostracized by your friends and loved ones;
6. You will never again be able to own a firearm;
7. Your right of movement may be severely restricted;
8. You will be watched by law enforcement for the rest of your life;
9. Everything you own will be taken away from you;
10. Your life as you have known it will end.
Are you ready to suffer these things? Picture your wife and children watching federal agents haul you away at gunpoint. Picture them talking to you through glass in a prison visiting room. Picture living in poverty for the rest of your life. That is what your life will be like if you openly revolt.
I’m not saying “open revolt” is a bad thing. I’m saying that anyone contemplating it had better be damned sure they know what they are signing on for. I’m saying that anyone who has any illusions of leading a mass movement against tyranny, or even of becoming a martyr for the cause, is fooling themselves. Once Fedgov comes for you, your fellow All-American, Don’t-Tread-On-Me Minutemen will suddenly discover 1,776 reasons to be somewhere else. They will disappear, then you will disappear, and no one will care or even notice. Mel Gibson will not run to your aid with a flag in his hand. Jim Robinson will not pay for your legal defense. Rush Limbaugh will not give you a job when you get out of Leavenworth. You will be left alone to face the power of the entire Machine.
They shot Randy Weaver’s wife through the head in her own front door. Nobody did anything to help them. Nobody will do anything to help you if you openly revolt.
The federal government may seem like a splay-feathered, broken-winged old eagle, but I assure you that it only seems that way. Anyone that openly defies it had better be ready to feel the beak and talons — the kind that draw blood.
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