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The Constitutional Importance of the ObamaCare Ruling
FrontPage Magazine ^ | June 29, 2012 | Joseph Klein

Posted on 06/29/2012 4:39:31 AM PDT by SJackson

- FrontPage Magazine - http://frontpagemag.com -

The Constitutional Importance of the ObamaCare Ruling

Posted By Joseph Klein On June 29, 2012 @ 12:55 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 4 Comments

The United States Supreme Court has finally spoken on the constitutionality of Obamacare, particularly its core provision – the so-called individual mandate under which most Americans must buy health care insurance with at least the minimum amount of coverage stipulated by the federal government or pay a fine.  The Supreme Court upheld the mandate on the grounds that it is within the taxing authority of Congress (Art. I, §8, cl. 1). Chief Justice John Roberts provided the swing vote to give the liberal justices on the bench the majority they needed to uphold the controversial law.

In a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts, he concluded that “Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” Although the Obama administration had tried to characterize the individual mandate as a legitimate exercise of congressional power under the separate Commerce Clause of the Constitution (Art. I, §8, clause 3), Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion rejected that approach and opted to call the fine, imposed on individuals who decide not to buy health insurance despite the mandate, a tax.

This sets up a very interesting political dynamic for this year’s presidential campaign. President Obama can claim a victory on the substance of his health care law. His most significant domestic policy achievement has now been declared constitutional by a majority of the Supreme Court led by the normally conservative Chief Justice.  On the other hand, Obama can no longer duck the reality that Obamacare is built on the foundation of huge tax increases that affect virtually all Americans. Furthermore, the left’s incessant attacks against the court and the right as of late — that the conservative Supreme Court has become corrupted by “politicalization” and “activism” — have suddenly become obsolete and exposed as hypocritical. After a slim 5-4 ruling, of the kind leftists typically scorn as illegitimate, The New York TimesEthan Bronner is now opining on the Roberts court’s “balance” and judiciousness. Robert Shrum at the Daily Beast praised the split decision as “clear and compelling,” where before he was anxious to lead the offensive against the “Tea Party Supreme Court” and the “five horsemen of  the judicial right.” Much has changed in a single day.

The first impression, and the one that is being played out in the mainstream media, is that Chief Justice Roberts had some sort of epiphany and saw the logic of the left’s arguments in upholding Obamacare. Yet while the outcome supported by Chief Justice Roberts certainly looks that way and is disappointing to many conservatives, the Chief Justice included a number of nuggets in his opinion that will serve conservatives well in future cases.

Indeed, although the Obama administration won the day in terms of the constitutional validation of Obamacare by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion lays down some important markers regarding the core constitutional principle of enumerated federal powers. This may be useful in the event of any future attempts by a left-leaning Congress to push beyond discernible limitations on its power under the Commerce Clause in order to regulate the everyday lives of the American people.

“If no enumerated power authorizes Congress to pass a certain law, that law may not be enacted, even if it would not violate any of the express prohibitions in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere in the Constitution,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “The Federal Government has expanded dramatically over the past two centuries, but it still must show that a constitutional grant of power authorizes each of its actions.”

Chief Justice Roberts also lays down a marker on the principle of federalism – the relationship between the federal and state governments:

Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed.

The federalism issue comes into play on the separate constitutional question dealing with Medicaid expansion and penalties placed upon states that decline to spend more of their own money to pay for expanded health insurance coverage. His opinion places limits on how far the federal government could impose its policies on the states.

Thus, while the final outcome of the Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare is disappointing and was reached by the circuitous route of relying on Congress’ broad taxing authority (even though Congress and the Obama administration had labored to avoid the tax nomenclature in the statute in favor of the term “penalty”), in the long run Chief Justice Roberts accomplished two key objectives. He shielded the legitimacy of the Supreme Court from partisan attacks that would have been generated from the White House, Congressional Democrats, the mainstream media and their colleagues on the Left accusing the Court of unbridled judicial activism.  Second, as discussed below, he used the opinion as an occasion to reinforce core conservative constitutional principles regarding limitations on congressional power affecting individuals and the states.

In first dealing with the argument that the Commerce Clause provided a constitutional basis for the Obamacare individual mandate, Chief Justice Roberts’ opinion rejected this argument but walked a fine line. Chief Justice Roberts acknowledged the precedents greatly expanding the reach of the Commerce Clause over economic activities that individually, or in the aggregate, may have an effect on interstate commerce. He did not seek to reverse or erode any of those precedents – a demonstration of respect for well-established Supreme Court precedents (stare decisis) and judicial restraint. However, he declared for the first time in a major Supreme Court opinion that there is a substantive difference between regulating activity and inactivity, which has constitutional significance:

The Constitution grants Congress the power to “regulate Commerce”…The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated. If the power to “regulate” something included the power to create it, many of the provisions in the Constitution would be superfluous…. The language of the Constitution reflects the natural understanding that the power to regulate assumes there is already something to be regulated.

Based on this reasoning, Justice Roberts’ opinion concluded that since the individual mandate did not regulate existing activity, but instead “compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product,” it could not be justified as a valid exercise of Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause (emphasis in the original).

Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and—under the Government’s theory—empower Congress to make those decisions for him

Congress already enjoys vast power to regulate much of what we do. Accepting the Government’s theory would give Congress the same license to regulate what we do not do, fundamentally changing the relation between the citizen and the Federal Government.

The Commerce Clause is not a general license to regulate an individual from cradle to grave, simply because he will predictably engage in particular transactions. Any police power to regulate individuals as such, as opposed to their activities, remains vested in the States.

The individual mandate forces individuals into commerce precisely because they elected to refrain from commercial activity. Such a law cannot be sustained under a clause authorizing Congress to “regulate Commerce.”

The Chief Justice’s opinion also concluded that the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution (Art. I, §8, clause 18) as an essential component of the health insurance reforms. The Necessary and Proper Clause gives Congress the authority to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution” the powers enumerated in the Constitution.

As he did in dealing with Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause, Roberts did not seek to reverse or erode any Supreme Court precedents interpreting the reach of the Necessary and Proper Clause. He acknowledged that these precedents have been very deferential to Congress’ determination that a regulation is “necessary.” However, like the Commerce Clause, there are limits on what Congress may do under the Necessary and Proper Clause. He held that the individual mandate went too far.

In a nutshell, Chief Justice Roberts used his opinion to draw a line in the sand on the limits of Congress’ powers under the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause, and on where the states have police powers not shared by the federal government.

Nevertheless, say the critics of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Commerce Clause discussion is all theoretical.  Chief Justice Roberts still ended up in the wrong place when he found another basis on which to uphold the mandate through the back door of Congress’ taxing authority. The liberal justices reserved their opposition to Chief Justice Roberts’ reasoning on the limits of the Commerce Clause but were happy to jump aboard the Chief Justice’s holding that the individual mandate was nevertheless constitutional by whatever means he took to reach that conclusion.

Disturbingly, Roberts bought the government’s argument that the individual mandate could be viewed as simply imposing a tax on those who do not buy the product that Congress commanded them to purchase. This argument stretches logic beyond any reasonable bounds and ignores the expressed intent of Congress in making clear that its “penalty” for not purchasing health insurance was not a tax.

While finding the “penalty” label fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act that would have prevented the lawsuit from even being heard in the first place at this time if it were deemed a tax for the purposes of this Act, Justice Roberts decided that for constitutional purposes it was indeed a tax after all. The notion is that if someone chooses to pay the IRS the penalty rather than obtain health insurance, they have fully complied with the law. This “suggests instead that the shared responsibility payment merely imposes a tax citizens may lawfully choose to pay in lieu of buying health insurance,” Roberts wrote.

The intent of Congress, as reflected by the language it used to describe the payment and contemporaneous statements denying that it was a tax, apparently does not matter. Moreover, even though the Chief Justice’s opinion held that Congress did not have the authority under the Commerce Clause to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, he concluded that Congress nevertheless had the authority to tax individuals for specifically declining to do what Congress had mandated, even though Congress had no authority to impose that mandate in the first place. This simply makes no sense. Chief Justice Roberts went off the rails here to reach the result he wanted to reach and thereby avoid a major blowback against the SupremeCourt’s legitimacy if it had overturned Obamacare.

Roberts got back on track when dealing with the issue of the expansion of Medicaid payments to subsidize health care insurance for those who cannot afford it. Congress may attach appropriate conditions to federal taxing and spending programs to preserve its control over the use of federal funds given to the states, as it has done in the past with respect to Medicaid. The federal government contributes money to the states to pay the lion’s share of Medicaid costs on condition that the states put in some of their own money. The states are free to accept those conditions or not at the time they are imposed. However, in this case, instead of simply refusing to grant the new funds earmarked for Obamacare subsidies to states that will not accept the new conditions requiring additional contributions from the states’ budgets, Congress has also threatened to withhold those states’ existing Medicaid funds for programs that pre-existed Obamacare. This crosses the line from financial incentives to contribute to the costs of a federal program to coercive pressure on the states to take on new burdens or lose everything that they had previously received.

“When, for example, such conditions take the form of threats to terminate other significant independent grants,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote, “the conditions are properly viewed as a means of pressuring the States to accept policy changes.”  He called such pressure “a gun to the head.”

If states do not want to accept the additional financial burdens in contributing to the expansion of the categories of people eligible for assistance as a result of Medicare, Congress is free to deny those states the extra federal funds made available for that expansion.  “What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”

The conventional wisdom was that Justice Kennedy would be the swing vote in a 5-4 decision and that the individual mandate at minimum would be struck down. The conventional wisdom was wrong. Justice Kennedy voted with the conservative minority in this case. Chief Justice Roberts turned out to be the swing vote, siding with the four liberal Justices to uphold Obamacare even if his reasoning did not fully track with theirs.

What motivated Chief Justice Roberts to become the fifth “liberal” vote in this case?  It may seem counterintuitive, but it may have very well been Chief Justice Roberts’ innate conservatism that led him to his surprise decision in this case.

Justice Roberts is most concerned with preserving the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a co-equal branch of the federal government. In order to do that, he may have felt it necessary to demonstrate that in a case as fraught with partisan controversy as the constitutional challenge to Obamacare, the Court could render a reasoned decision without being driven primarily by ideological bias. References to judicial restraint, Court precedents, deference to the will of Congress and examining every reasonable construction of a statute in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality are sprinkled throughout his opinion.

At the same time, Justice Roberts set down markers on the limits of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause and on federalism principles that are now part of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in decades. They are incorporated into the body of precedents that the Supreme Court in the future will be expected to pay attention to.

Moreover, by holding that the penalty for non-compliance with the Obamacare individual mandate is a tax, Justice Roberts has managed to frame Obamacare as a tax-and-spend program that will play to the Republicans’ strengths in the upcoming presidential and congressional campaigns. If that label sticks in voters’ minds and makes Obamacare even more unpopular than it already is, its days may be numbered irrespective of what the Supreme Court decided.

In sum, Chief Justice Roberts arguably followed a circuitous route to reach the wrong result with regard to the constitutionality of the Obamacare individual mandate. However, whether or not the political process eventually sweeps Obamacare away, the limitations on the Commerce Clause that Chief Justice Roberts used his opinion to clearly articulate will endure and may serve as a brake on future progressive initiatives that go too far.

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Article printed from FrontPage Magazine: http://frontpagemag.com

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/06/29/understanding-the-obamacare-ruling/



TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 06/29/2012 4:39:38 AM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson
"the limitations on the Commerce Clause that Chief Justice Roberts used his opinion to clearly articulate will endure and may serve as a brake on future progressive initiatives that go too far."

This argument is a complete fail. The commerce clause doesn't matter anymore - the left doesn't need it to establish jurisdiction. After this ruling congress can pass any law it wants, add a "tax" for non-compliance and then rely on Federal taxing authority for jurisdiction. This ruling has removed all restaint on the Federal exercise of power and control. Limiting principal my a**.

2 posted on 06/29/2012 4:45:54 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SJackson
Justice Roberts set down markers on the limits of congressional authority under the Commerce Clause and on federalism principles that are now part of one of the most important Supreme Court decisions in decades.

<snip>

Moreover, by holding that the penalty for non-compliance with the Obamacare individual mandate is a tax, Justice Roberts has managed to frame Obamacare as a tax-and-spend program that will play to the Republicans’ strengths


Gosh, we're so lucky to have Roberts! What a crock. This is a dark day for the republic; the end is nigh.
3 posted on 06/29/2012 4:47:06 AM PDT by andyk (Go Juan Pablo!)
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bump


4 posted on 06/29/2012 4:51:21 AM PDT by foreverfree
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To: circlecity
This argument is a complete fail. The commerce clause doesn't matter anymore - the left doesn't need it to establish jurisdiction. After this ruling congress can pass any law it wants, add a "tax" for non-compliance and then rely on Federal taxing authority for jurisdiction. This ruling has removed all restaint on the Federal exercise of power and control. Limiting principal my a**.

Exactly. This decision took a shotgun away from the federal government and gave them a rocket launcher instead.

5 posted on 06/29/2012 4:51:27 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: circlecity

But as with any “tax”, it can be repealed with 51 Senators in the budget Reconciliation process. No filibuster possible.

Elect a Republican House, President, and Senate (even a tied one), and repeal is possible.

While I would have preferred it be struck down, Roberts just energized the Right and made it much less difficult for repeal.


6 posted on 06/29/2012 4:52:53 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: SJackson

It’s internally inconsistent.

If they can’t COMPEL you to buy something, how can they rationally PENALIZE you for not buying it?

Makes zero difference if it’s called a tax or a fine or a co-pay, it’s still a penalty that treats some people (those who don’t buy insurance) different from those who do.

So there are due process and equal protection problems also.


7 posted on 06/29/2012 4:53:37 AM PDT by djf ("There are more old drunkards than old doctors." - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: circlecity

Anyone who believes that a liberal supreme court, or any liberal court for that matter, will give any attention to Robert’s limits on the Commerce Clause is a fool.

Their side sticks together on the big issues and shreds, shreds, shreds any conservative precedent.


8 posted on 06/29/2012 4:56:36 AM PDT by Jake8898
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To: RangerM
"Elect a Republican House, President, and Senate (even a tied one), and repeal is possible."

We HAD a Republican House, Senate and PResident. Show me all the taxes they repealed. . Why should we think it would be any different next time?

9 posted on 06/29/2012 4:58:55 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity
The commerce clause doesn't matter anymore

Commerce clause? Hell, the whole Constitution doesn't matter to the Government any more. The very compact by which they were granted power by We the People has been broken. No branch is enforcing it, all branches seem to be in a race to see who can defecate hardest and highest on original intent and the letter of the Supreme Law of the Land.

This government run amok is rendering itself illegitimate.

10 posted on 06/29/2012 4:59:10 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: circlecity

Unless they’ve forgot 2010, I don’t think you have to worry about the Republicans repealing (at least parts of) it.

However, to win they’ve got to say more than just “repeal”. Many people won’t accept nothing in exchange.

They’ve got to sell Conservative principles and the solution to the Healthcare problem.

That’s not to say they have to promise pennies from heaven; although many would expect that.

They have to prove WHY it’s the best for the country and the people. They have to become teachers. And if all they’re going to do is spout talking points, then it’s going to get them nowhere.


11 posted on 06/29/2012 5:04:48 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: SJackson

Looks like Justice Roberts has helped the Supreme Court become a part of the legislative branch.

When a bunch of over-reaching, adolescent, psychotic Progressives don’t have the brain power to decide if it’s a tax or a penalty the Supreme Court will re-write it for them and magically make it constituional. (All
two-thousand odd pages pages of something that no-one has read and no-one understands will become the law of the land-absolutely amazing and scary.)

IMHO


12 posted on 06/29/2012 5:05:45 AM PDT by ripley
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To: SJackson

The Constitution states clearly that direct taxes shall be apportioned.

An ObamaCare tax falls on the individual as a direct tax. It is NOT apportioned.

It is CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL.


13 posted on 06/29/2012 5:10:46 AM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: RangerM
"Unless they’ve forgot 2010, I don’t think you have to worry about the Republicans repealing (at least parts of) it."

I think I should worry a lot. The Pubs won't repeal anything. Show me any taxes the congressional class of 2010 repealed. When push came to shove Boehner folded like a paper bag every time.

14 posted on 06/29/2012 5:10:53 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: djf
It’s internally inconsistent.

If they can’t COMPEL you to buy something, how can they rationally PENALIZE you for not buying it?

Exactly! I pointed this out a couple times on other threads. If the states can't be compelled into Medicaid expansion by threats of withholding funding, then how can citizens be taxed if they don't opt into health insurance? Sure, in the first instance, the feds can't withhold something already promised, but in the second, it implies additional penalties for the option of doing nothing. Neither, IMO, is constitutional.

15 posted on 06/29/2012 5:11:39 AM PDT by bcsco
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To: circlecity

Am I allowed to count the Bush tax cuts that were kept?

Or do I have to cite new tax cuts like the reduction in SS witholding?


16 posted on 06/29/2012 5:13:09 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: ripley
Looks like Justice Roberts has helped the Supreme Court become a part of the legislative branch.

Just correcting their rather inept term paper. As a tax, I thought this issue couldn't be adjucated until someone had standing, but paying the tax, but the Court can ignore that too, since it's based on their ruling. Don't think that was addressed in the opinion though.

17 posted on 06/29/2012 5:15:46 AM PDT by SJackson (blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, take him on a car ride; he sticks his head out the window)
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To: circlecity
The House did vote to repeal Obamacare but Harry Reid (as usual) wouldn't even bring it up in the Senate. I didn't realize it could be repealed in the Senate with only 51 votes. If we had a majority there, I am sure the Republicans would bring it up and a handful of Democrats, who would be up for reelection in 2014, would support the repeal.
18 posted on 06/29/2012 5:18:45 AM PDT by originalbuckeye
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To: circlecity

“the limitations on the Commerce Clause that Chief Justice Roberts used his opinion to clearly articulate will endure and may serve as a brake on future progressive initiatives that go too far.”

This argument is a complete fail.

I agree. First, Roberts has actually made it EASIER for liberals to propose legislation without having to rely on the false commerce clause to get what they want. Now, all they have to do is call the legislation a tax, and voila, it’s a good one. They can do it in baby steps. You want to make tooth paste available to poor people? Simple, just put a tax on every candy bar sold. You want to provide funding for Head Start? Simple, just create a tuition tax on every private day school, etc. You can’t reason with Democrats. If you put up one barrier, they find a way around it, so you have to put up another. Roberts has put up another, out of whole cloth. His fellow conservative judges must be aghast at this acrobatic logic.

Second, Roberts has ignored the language of the original bill and rewrote that language.

Third, why would it have been controversial for a 5-4 vote one way, but not a 5-4 vote the other way? He is just admitting he was afraid of the liberal elite.


19 posted on 06/29/2012 5:19:48 AM PDT by NotTallTex
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To: RangerM
"Am I allowed to count the Bush tax cuts that were kept? Or do I have to cite new tax cuts like the reduction in SS witholding?"

Fair enough. And I will cite his massive spending increases which ended up increasing spending 5 dollars for every 1 dollar in taxes he cut. He also expanded medicare. All with a Pub House, Senate and Presidency.

20 posted on 06/29/2012 5:21:08 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: SJackson

Justice Roberts simply did not read the bill or just pretends that the text of the bill is irrelevant. This is how the Bill will actually be administered in practice. It is so large, sweeping and convoluted, that any public official will cite it at the reason for doing X,Y& Z whether the bill says it or not.

The Bill (Section 1501 individual responsibility,) makes a specific and detailed appeal to the commerce clause for its legitimacy. Will these findings be struck from the bill? It is IMPOSSIBLE to find that these findings are illegitimate, and yet that the bill is constitutional:

(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) IN GENERAL.—The individual responsibility requirement
provided for in this section (in this subsection referred to
as the ‘‘requirement’’) is commercial and economic in nature,
and substantially affects interstate commerce, as a result of
the effects described in paragraph (2).
(2) EFFECTS ON THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND INTERSTATE
COMMERCE.—øReplaced by section 10106(a)¿ The effects described
in this paragraph are the following:
(A) The requirement regulates activity that is commercial
and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions
about how and when health care is paid for, and
when health insurance is purchased. In the absence of the
requirement, some individuals would make an economic
and financial decision to forego health insurance coverage
and attempt to self-insure, which increases financial risks
to households and medical providers.


21 posted on 06/29/2012 5:26:35 AM PDT by mission9 (It is by the fruit ye shall know.)
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To: SJackson

Justice Roberts simply did not read the bill or just pretends that the text of the bill is irrelevant. This is how the Bill will actually be administered in practice. It is so large, sweeping and convoluted, that any public official will cite it at the reason for doing X,Y& Z whether the bill says it or not.

The Bill (Section 1501 individual responsibility,) makes a specific and detailed appeal to the commerce clause for its legitimacy. Will these findings be struck from the bill? It is IMPOSSIBLE to find that these findings are illegitimate, and yet that the bill is constitutional:

(a) FINDINGS.—Congress makes the following findings:
(1) IN GENERAL.—The individual responsibility requirement
provided for in this section (in this subsection referred to
as the ‘‘requirement’’) is commercial and economic in nature,
and substantially affects interstate commerce, as a result of
the effects described in paragraph (2).
(2) EFFECTS ON THE NATIONAL ECONOMY AND INTERSTATE
COMMERCE.—øReplaced by section 10106(a)¿ The effects described
in this paragraph are the following:
(A) The requirement regulates activity that is commercial
and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions
about how and when health care is paid for, and
when health insurance is purchased. In the absence of the
requirement, some individuals would make an economic
and financial decision to forego health insurance coverage
and attempt to self-insure, which increases financial risks
to households and medical providers.


22 posted on 06/29/2012 5:26:52 AM PDT by mission9 (It is by the fruit ye shall know.)
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To: kevkrom

“After this ruling congress can pass any law it wants, add a “tax” for non-compliance and then rely on Federal taxing authority for jurisdiction”

Interesting point. Maybe such laws will read “Citizen has the option of doing xxx or paying the government yyy”. You’re correct. It’s scary. But legislators contemplate all sorts of legislation that’s constitutional, and the legislators are restrained by lack of public support.

Obamacare is bad legislation with slim public support. Should we have faith that voters will cause it to be killed or reconstituted? If we can’t have that faith then America is in real big trouble.


23 posted on 06/29/2012 5:31:13 AM PDT by cymbeline
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed

The constitution is now dead. The government, not restrained in power by any limits, is tyrannical and illegitimate.


24 posted on 06/29/2012 5:34:09 AM PDT by Durus (You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. Ayn Rand)
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To: circlecity
Which put us where we are--with Obama (and Obamacare).

You think Republicans don't realize how bad they f***** up, when we couldn't even get everyone on our side to support McCain over a Socialist?

And in 2010, did the Tea Party do an effective job taking them dems to the woodshed?

What is this ruling going to do with every Tea Party in the U.S.?

Roberts effectively said, it's the peoples' job to elect leaders who don't do things like this if we don't want them to, by making it a tax-and-spend issue.

He also made it more likely to accomplish repeal in the budget reconciliation process.
25 posted on 06/29/2012 5:34:41 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: mission9

But... the Court today, well, yesterday, EXPRESSLY AND VERY EXPLICITLY DENIED THAT POWER TO CONGRESS.

No matter what, this POS gotta go back to Congress before it can be enforced in any way.

That’s why I keep saying this is being spun as a win, but he basically lost his donkey...


26 posted on 06/29/2012 5:36:35 AM PDT by djf ("There are more old drunkards than old doctors." - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: circlecity

I agree...there is no constitutional law ..why not dump the supremes..instead of paying them to fill themselves with self importance. I think they had dirt on roberts or made him a deal he could not refuse.


27 posted on 06/29/2012 5:50:21 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: SJackson

Here is my take (keep in mind I have only read the first few pages of the decision, more goodies are probably located within)

The libs have been using the commerce clause since roosevelt to push their agenda through... the courts have backed them up.

They have also used the words “General Welfare” in the preamble to push through their agenda... the courts have backed them up.

They have also slowly eroded states rights... the courts have backed them up.

All 3 of these items were the “sledgehammer” that the commies and socialists used to force their agenda through.

No more. Roberts took that sledgehammer away and gave them back a one ounce tack hammer.

The states were not allowed to opt out of fubocare without incurring a large financial penalty. Roberts tood that penalty away, allowing the individual states the opportunity to opt out. Victory for states rights.

The commerce clause cannot be used to create commerce in order to regulate it. Victory for conservatives and reaffirms the power of the court to rule out legislation that uses this clause ( most if not all the libs premier social programs were passed this way, no more ).

The general welfare in the preamble can no longer be interpreted to include any damn social program the libs see fit to pass. Victory once again for conservatives and constitution loving people everywhere.

As for the tax thing, the congress has ALWAYS had this power. They got nothing extra or added because of this ruling.

All this means is that anything they pass from this point forward has to be called a tax. The genie is out of the bottle, and clarity in government will be the result.

Roberts hoodwinked the shit out of the libs, and has restored more constitutional limits on government than any other justice before him.

My guess ( and this is only a guess ) is that the libs wanted this thing so badly that they were willing to do ANYTHING to have it upheld. Roberts saw the opportunity and took it. The disgust of the old bag ginsberg regarding his majority opinion is enough to satisfy me that this was the case.

I firmly believe that you get the government you elect. With a lousy 50% turnout getting called heavy, it turns my stomach. Roberts took the opportunity to slap down the voting public, rightfully telling US that it is our responsibility to elect people that represent our views. He is 100% correct on this count.

In order to change the way this government functions will take at least 80 to 90% turnout at the polls.

Roberts struck a major blow for constitutionalism yesterday. Now, it is our turn.


28 posted on 06/29/2012 6:02:55 AM PDT by joe fonebone (I am the 15%)
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To: SJackson

If congress can repeal a tax can a tax repeal be veto?


29 posted on 06/29/2012 6:06:05 AM PDT by tophat9000 (American is Barack Oaken)
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To: RangerM

“Elect a Republican House, President, and Senate (even a tied one), and repeal is possible.”

IOW, Roberts essentially vested more power back in Congress by taking it away from the Executive and judicial branches.

This, IMHO, is what he was trying to do. When Obama castigated the SC during his SOTU address Roberts probably then realized that the balance of power needed to shift back to our elected representatives and away from the Executive branch.

Yes, he did this in a circuitous fashion, but with today’s toxic political climate it may have been the least bad of the other choices. Time will tell.

Going forward, it puts more responsibility on us to elect better people to Congress. We have to elect people who will scale back the size of gov’t and hopefully we can do that.


30 posted on 06/29/2012 6:24:57 AM PDT by webstersII
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To: webstersII

I trust Scalia’s judgement on this matter a Hell of a lot more than Roberts’


31 posted on 06/29/2012 6:33:20 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: webstersII

Depends on how you look at it.

Yes, he said the Congress can tax you for damn near anything. He also made it exclusively a tax issue, limiting Congress’ power to that (only).

Now, that also means that whenever Congress wishes to force the people to do as it wishes it does so with one (enumerated) power. No more “nuance”. No more “commerce clause”.

It’s only “tax and spend” liberal power versus “fiscal restraint” conservative.


32 posted on 06/29/2012 6:40:44 AM PDT by RangerM
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed

“The Constitution states clearly that direct taxes shall be apportioned. An ObamaCare tax falls on the individual as a direct tax.It is NOT apportioned.It is CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”

The Sixteenth Amendment made the apportionment rule inapplicable to income taxes, including taxes on income derived from property, by providing that Congress has the power to tax incomes from any source without having to apportion the tax by population.

Because people through their employers and corporations and self-employed individuals receive an income tax deduction for their health insurance premiums and buy health insurance with additional tax benefits and this is all administered through the IRS which collects income taxes, the ObamaCare Tax is not a direct tax and does not need to be apportioned, therefore; it is clearly not unconstitutional.


33 posted on 06/29/2012 7:57:06 AM PDT by ngat
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To: ngat

ngat,

The courts have ruled (read the Brushaber decision) that the Income Tax is an “excise” tax. It is NOT a “direct” tax.

An excise tax is one that you can avoid by changing your behavior. For example, if you do not want to pay Federal gasoline excise taxes, stop buying gasoline.

A “direct” tax, on the other hand, cannot be avoided by changing your behavior. The Roberts ruling makes ObamaCare a direct (unavoidable) tax on an individual merely because he exists.

According the Constitution, direct taxes must be apportioned. The Sixteenth Amendment did NOT remove that provision from the Constitution.

So I repeat...

The Constitution states clearly that direct taxes shall be apportioned.

An ObamaCare tax falls on the individual as a direct tax.

Direct taxes must be apportioned.

The ObamaCare tax is NOT apportioned.

The ObamaCare tax is CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL.


34 posted on 06/29/2012 9:49:55 AM PDT by TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed (Yahuah Yahusha)
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To: SJackson

The most significant thing about this ruling is that it makes it official....We the People, and our States, exist to pleasure the Feds.

The existence of a Federal Government, to the ends of prosperity for the United States is history.


35 posted on 06/29/2012 3:56:57 PM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: joe fonebone

I agree joe....


36 posted on 06/29/2012 4:03:31 PM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: circlecity

Yes, the ability of Congress to levy a tax on anything they want is *very* recent: When the last state required ratified the Constitution in 1792. In geologic terms, that’s yesterday.


37 posted on 06/29/2012 4:08:53 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: Cyber Liberty
"Yes, the ability of Congress to levy a tax on anything they want is *very* recent: When the last state required ratified the Constitution in 1792. In geologic terms, that’s yesterday"

The ability of the government to dictate any aspect of your personal life and behavior by imposing a massive fine for non-compliance and calling it a "tax" is even more recent - literally "yesterday" - 6-28-2012

38 posted on 06/29/2012 5:16:53 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

I’ll go with the text of the constitution, rather than your interpretation of the decision, if that’s OK.

I have a larger point, but I’ve yet to hear anybody give a crap, so there you are.


39 posted on 06/29/2012 5:21:05 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: djf

Your tagline gave me my first and only laugh of this dismal day after. Thanks.


40 posted on 06/29/2012 5:27:21 PM PDT by exit82
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To: Cyber Liberty
"I’ll go with the text of the constitution, rather than your interpretation of the decision, if that’s OK."

Go with whatever you want. There's a sucker born every minute.

41 posted on 06/29/2012 5:38:31 PM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

My great-grandfather’s words have been misquoted so many times I don’t even care anymore. This is early in the process, and I’m sick to death of you sudden constitutional scholars. Good night to you and yours. I’ve had it with trying to explain to disinterested students.


42 posted on 06/29/2012 6:02:17 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

I was litigating constitutional issues in both State and Federal court before you were born.


43 posted on 06/30/2012 2:37:49 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed

you are correct on this count.. the tax is unconstitutional, and when appealed will fail.. but it cannot be challenged until it is implimented and someone actually has to pay it...


44 posted on 06/30/2012 4:31:01 AM PDT by joe fonebone (I am the 15%)
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To: circlecity

>> . After this ruling congress can pass any law it wants, add a “tax” for non-compliance and then rely on Federal taxing authority for jurisdiction <<

but voting to raise taxes is not a popular thing for a congressman to do.

If Romney vetoes this mess, there is no way it can ever be revived without people wanting a tax increase.


45 posted on 06/30/2012 4:51:26 AM PDT by zeebee
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To: zeebee
"but voting to raise taxes is not a popular thing for a congressman to do."

That's not as true as it used to be. With 40% of the population paying no taxes and almost that much making their living off the government, more and more will support tax increases as long as its on the other half (the producing half) of the citizentry. The is the entire mantra of the OWS crowd. As has been pointed out before, democracy breaks down when 51% of the population figures out they can vote themselves into the wallets of the other 49%.

46 posted on 06/30/2012 6:36:13 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity

I stand corrected. I’ve been harangued by less schooled the past two days, and it’s become a worthless pain. Sorry.


47 posted on 06/30/2012 9:42:51 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Obama considers the Third World morally superior to the United States.)
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To: TruthInThoughtWordAndDeed

Don’t you think Roberts thought of your argument and disagrees with you?

“The courts have ruled (read the Brushaber decision) that the Income Tax is an “excise” tax. It is NOT a “direct” tax.
An excise tax is one that you can avoid. ...According the Constitution, direct taxes must be apportioned. The Sixteenth Amendment did NOT remove that provision from the Constitution.So I repeat...”

It doesn’t matter how often you want to repeat yourself.

Clearly, my reasoning was correct, because the SUMPREME COURT! has RULED!

The ObamaCare tax is CLEARLY CONSTITUTIONAL - ROBERTS SAID IT, I BELEIVE IT, THAT SETTLES IT!


48 posted on 06/30/2012 4:46:55 PM PDT by ngat
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