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Is Obamamamacare constitutional?


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#1 NGS

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 03:47 AM

What the Constitution says:

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The 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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


See any mention of healthcare? The Constitution assigns only limited powers to Congress and none, including the power to regulate interstate commerce or to impose taxes, would support a federal mandate requiring anyone who is otherwise without health insurance to buy it. Just as FDR's NIRA was found to be unconstitutional in Schechter Poultry v. US in 1935, it may take a Supreme Court case to save America from this monstrosity cooked up by Pelosi & Co if it finally passes.

#2 frenchie

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 04:44 AM

I'm just pissed that I backed Obama, and got something that looks more like Hillary's plan.

This is definitely not what I voted for.

#3 chicken eater

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:04 PM

I'm just pissed that I backed Obama, and got something that looks more like Hillary's plan.

This is definitely not what I voted for.



If you don't mind sharing, what did you think you were voting for?

#4 Tri-Flow

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:23 PM

I'm just pissed that I backed Obama, and got something that looks more like Hillary's plan.

This is definitely not what I voted for.



If you don't mind sharing, what did you think you were voting for?




Change? :rolleyes:

#5 frenchie

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:50 PM

I know all democrats look to same to some of you guys, but the proposals were pretty distinct:


Hillary's proposal involved mandating everyone purchase health insurance - Barack's didn't.

Barack's proposal included a public option - that was the core of it, actually - Hillary's didn't.

#6 Sol Rosenberg

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:52 PM

I cannot find anything in the Constitution allowing democRATS to hold office. I hereby call on all democRATS to resign their positions immediately, so that we can resume the good, honest, efficient, small, and principled governance we enjoyed for the previous oh so many years.

#7 2high2tight

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 02:58 PM

I am praying Obama honors his commitment not to sign a bill that doesn't fit within the parameters he outlined. This one is way out of that park.

#8 RumBulls

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:45 PM

I am praying Obama honors his commitment not to sign a bill that doesn't fit within the parameters he outlined. This one is way out of that park.


You friggin people should be denied the right to vote in the future.



YOU PEOPLE? Born in the wrong century were you?

#9 wabbiteer

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:46 PM

I know all democrats look to same to some of you guys, but the proposals were pretty distinct:


Hillary's proposal involved mandating everyone purchase health insurance - Barack's didn't.

Barack's proposal included a public option - that was the core of it, actually - Hillary's didn't.



Where did you get that?

#10 Mark K

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:49 PM

What the Constitution says:

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The 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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


See any mention of healthcare? The Constitution assigns only limited powers to Congress and none, including the power to regulate interstate commerce or to impose taxes, would support a federal mandate requiring anyone who is otherwise without health insurance to buy it. Just as FDR's NIRA was found to be unconstitutional in Schechter Poultry v. US in 1935, it may take a Supreme Court case to save America from this monstrosity cooked up by Pelosi & Co if it finally passes.


Doesn't mention anything about 60 votes needed in the Senate
to end debate either.

#11 flaps15

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:50 PM

I am praying Obama honors his commitment not to sign a bill that doesn't fit within the parameters he outlined. This one is way out of that park.


You friggin people should be denied the right to vote in the future.


...and you should move back to N. Korea.

#12 roundthebuoys

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:40 PM

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;


See, they are just doing their job..

#13 frenchie

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:52 AM

I know all democrats look to same to some of you guys, but the proposals were pretty distinct:


Hillary's proposal involved mandating everyone purchase health insurance - Barack's didn't.

Barack's proposal included a public option - that was the core of it, actually - Hillary's didn't.



Where did you get that?


My memory - which was wrong about Hillary not including a public option (she was going to expand medicare).

My bad.

#14 Happy Jack

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 06:04 AM

What the Constitution says:

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The 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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;



I think you can cover a lot with " provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". So ,while Obama care many have constitutional problems. The general idea of government provided health care is not unconstitutional.

#15 dogsridewith

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:43 PM

"To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States."

Well, current government follows no uniform laws on bankruptcies....if it gives some companies billions of free money (to avoid bankruptcy) and other companies nothing.

Current government simply ignores the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Supremes cite catchall ammendment that allows doing anything to do the things allowed, and/or cites competing effects that it then claims to know which of is the more important.

#16 Tom Ray

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:42 PM

What the Constitution says:

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The 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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.


See any mention of healthcare? The Constitution assigns only limited powers to Congress and none, including the power to regulate interstate commerce or to impose taxes, would support a federal mandate requiring anyone who is otherwise without health insurance to buy it. Just as FDR's NIRA was found to be unconstitutional in Schechter Poultry v. US in 1935, it may take a Supreme Court case to save America from this monstrosity cooked up by Pelosi & Co if it finally passes.


Doesn't mention anything about 60 votes needed in the Senate
to end debate either.


You're looking in the wrong place.

Section. 5. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

<a name="1.5.2">Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

(helpful emphasis added)

#17 Tom Ray

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 12:50 PM

What the Constitution says:

Section 8 - Powers of Congress

The 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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;



I think you can cover a lot with " provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States". So ,while Obama care many have constitutional problems. The general idea of government provided health care is not unconstitutional.


Good grief. At least read something written by the guys who wrote those words...

James Madison is the Constitution's acknowledged "father," and here's what he had to say: "With respect to the two words 'general welfare', I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators."

Thomas Jefferson echoed similar sentiments, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated."


OTOH, James Madison also said this about the commerce power:

13 Feb. 1829
Letters 4:14--15 James Madison to Joseph C. Cabell


For a like reason, I made no reference to the "power to regulate commerce among the several States." I always foresaw that difficulties might be started in relation to that power which could not be fully explained without recurring to views of it, which, however just, might give birth to specious though unsound objections. Being in the same terms with the power over foreign commerce, the same extent, if taken literally, would belong to it. Yet it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government, in which alone, however, the remedial power could be lodged.


Yet we have had laws and court cases about whether homegrown wheat, cannabis, or machine guns for personal use are interstate commerce, whether rape is interstate commerce, whether assisted suicide is interstate commerce, whether a gun near a school is interstate commerce, whether a partial birth abortion is interstate commerce, and my personal favorite, whether an indigenous California toad is interstate commerce.

If you can't tell by my list, both left and right are guilty of stretching the commerce power to cover, as Justice Thomas said, "virtually anything." The Supreme Court interpretations that back it all up come from the left, but the right wingers are willing to use them if an issue like marijuana or abortion comes up.

So, in the case of Obamacare, I agree that they are once again stretching the commerce power, and I'll be willing to listen to the complaints from the right once they say that growing a cannabis plant is not a federal matter, nor is an assisted suicide or partial birth abortion (the latter two at least not under the commerce power, if they want to make a 14th amendment case I'll listen).

#18 Tom Ray

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 11:55 AM

WTF is with this place? On some forums when I start questioning federal laws against things like pot, partial birth abortion, and assisted suicide I get called a looney liberaltarian. Here it's just a conversation stopper. Lamest. "Conservatives." Ever. :P

#19 Chuck D.

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 12:36 PM

WTF is with this place? On some forums when I start questioning federal laws against things like pot, partial birth abortion, and assisted suicide I get called a looney liberaltarian. Here it's just a conversation stopper. Lamest. "Conservatives." Ever. :P


There are only a few "Conservatives" here. Most of what tries to pass for a conservative view point here is little more than plagiarized propaganda out of right-wing / populist mouthpieces. Its very lame, if occasionally amusing for the unintentional displays of irony.

#20 Bus Driver

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Posted 08 November 2009 - 01:20 PM

As a matter of fact, I am still waiting for Happy Jack to define "Conservative" with regard to principles. Frankly, I don't think he knows.

#21 Tom Ray

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:20 PM

You get some funny responses when you ask legislators to specify the constitutional authority of obamacare...

Sen. Nelson:

“Specifically, where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?” CNSNews.com asked Nelson.

“Well, you know, I don’t know that I’m a constitutional scholar,” said Nelson. So, I, I’m not going to be able to answer that question.”

The senator then turned away to answer another reporter’s question.


Sen. Akaka:

When CNSNews.com asked whether the Constitution gives Congress the authority to make Americans buy health insurance, Sen. Akaka said: “I’m not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what we’re trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and that’s where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that we’re trying to present here is to make it accessible.”

When asked if there was a specific part of the Constitutoin that gives Congress the authority to make people buy health insurance, Akaka said: “Not in particular with health insurance. It’s not covered in that respect. But in ways to help citizens in our country to live a good life, let me say it that way, is what we’re trying to do, and in this case, we’re trying to help them with their health.”


The article goes on to point out:

In 1994, when Congress was considering a universal health care plan proposed by then-President Clinton that included a mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studied the issue and discovered that the federal government had never in the history of the United States mandated that individuals purchase any good or service.

“A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action,” said the CBO. “The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”

In an analysis published this July, the CBO said that an attempt to justify a mandate that people buy health insurance by using the Commerce Clause—which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce “among the several states”—raises a “novel issue.”

“Whether such a requirement would be constitutional under the Commerce Clause is perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal, as it is a novel issue whether Congress may use this clause to require an individual to purchase a good or a service,” said the CBO.


And the stretching of the commerce clause continues. Let's just refresh everyone's memory about what the guy who wrote the commerce clause had to say...

...it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government...



#22 Sea Scouter

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:52 PM

Better get rid of the Air Force! I searched and it's not in there.
...or turn it over to Haliburton.

Section 8:

To provide and maintain a Navy;

To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

#23 Tom Ray

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:34 PM

Actually, the Army was sending up balloons while some of the authors of the Constitution were still around. Aviation was originally mostly an army thing, and it provides for the common defense. The idea of a standing army in peacetime was not popular then, so they "prevented" it by making Congress vote to fund the army every two years. I think you can trace the constitutional authority to start flying, and later to split off some specialists.

A better example would have been NASA. ;)

#24 Mark K

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:45 PM

Yes. They didn't envision having anything more than a token Federal
Army. But then the British burned Madisons house down after his
"malitia" up and r-u-n-n-o-f-t, and they did a bit of
re-thinking on that....

#25 Sol Rosenberg

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 07:48 PM

Those were the days.
Posted Image

#26 Tom Ray

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 09:46 PM

Yes. They didn't envision having anything more than a token Federal
Army. But then the British burned Madisons house down after his
"malitia" up and r-u-n-n-o-f-t, and they did a bit of
re-thinking on that....


We had a standing army (of sorts) before the War of 1812, and another nation burning our capital during a war is hardly an argument for a standing army in time of peace.

#27 Mark K

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 11:05 PM

Yes. They didn't envision having anything more than a token Federal
Army. But then the British burned Madisons house down after his
"malitia" up and r-u-n-n-o-f-t, and they did a bit of
re-thinking on that....


We had a standing army (of sorts) before the War of 1812, and another nation burning our capital during a war is hardly an argument for a standing army in time of peace.


Now THAT is some damn funny shit. Thanks.

#28 Tom Ray

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 11:36 AM

Not that it matters any more. I'm sure a standing army affects interstate commerce every bit as much as homegrown wheat, cannabis plants, or machine guns, so it is a federal government matter under the commerce clause just like those things, along with assisted suicide, abortion, and, apparently, citizens being told to buy insurance.

There really isn't anything funnier to me in our whole government than the twisted, unrecognizable commerce clause.

#29 Tom Ray

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:20 PM

In fairness, the opposing view, from the last time this was tried...

Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

It's hilarious to me that they recount the New Deal era expansive interpretations of the constitution without ever mentioning FDR's court packing threat.

The most fundamental constitutional challenge to national health care reform is that it lies beyond the power of Congress and the President to enact. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has long since rejected the crabbed view of national legislative authority that necessarily lies behind such a challenge.

During the mid-1930s, when for a brief time the Court invalidated some aspects of the New Deal, a majority of the Justices accepted the argument that Congress lacks the power "to protect the general public interest and the health and comfort of the people. That argument was predicated on an exceedingly narrow conception of the authority of the federal government to address problems of national dimension under the commerce clause of the Constitution. The Court quickly abandoned that attack on the New Deal as inconsistent with the text and structure of the Constitution and, indeed, with the Court's own precedents. Noting that "there has long been recognition of the authority of Congress to obtain ... social, health or economic advantages from the exercise of constitutional powers, the Court concluded that Congress's authority over "commerce among the several States" empowers the national government to address all activity, "whatever its nature ... if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.



#30 Tom Ray

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 12:48 PM

Judge Napolitano weighs in

Unfortunately, a notoriously tendentious New Deal-era Supreme Court decision has given Congress a green light to use the Commerce Clause to regulate noncommercial, and even purely local, private behavior. In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), the Supreme Court held that a farmer who grew wheat just for the consumption of his own family violated federal agricultural guidelines enacted pursuant to the Commerce Clause. Though the wheat did not move across state lines—indeed, it never left his farm—the Court held that if other similarly situated farmers were permitted to do the same it, might have an aggregate effect on interstate commerce.

James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison's understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept "regular."

The Supreme Court finally came to its senses when it invalidated a congressional ban on illegal guns within 1,000 feet of public schools. In United States v. Lopez (1995), the Court ruled that the Commerce Clause may only be used by Congress to regulate human activity that is truly commercial at its core and that has not traditionally been regulated by the states. The movement of illegal guns from one state to another, the Court ruled, was criminal and not commercial at its core, and school safety has historically been a state function.


Of course, that's only part of the Lopez story. What happened was, the Supreme Court invalidated a law that was no longer on the books, leaving alone Sec. 922 (q) as it existed then, and remains today. While the Court was considering the case, the Congress hastily passed "findings of fact" saying that possession of guns near schools affect interstate commerce. The Court took note of this event, but did not consider it in their ruling, which was based in part on the fact that there were no "findings of fact" in the law saying possession of guns near schools affect interstate commerce. :rolleyes: It's a little like when the Court, which included members who certainly knew what a "trench gun" was, refused in the Miller case to say that a sawed off shotgun might be a military weapon, but I digress... No one has yet challenged the new, improved Gun Free School Zones act, so if you have a gun near a school (and you don't have a carry permit, blah, blah, blah) you are affecting interstate commerce and committing a federal crime, Lopez notwithstanding. :rolleyes:

#31 NGS

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 01:38 PM

In fairness, the opposing view, from the last time this was tried...

Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

It's hilarious to me that they recount the New Deal era expansive interpretations of the constitution without ever mentioning FDR's court packing threat.

The most fundamental constitutional challenge to national health care reform is that it lies beyond the power of Congress and the President to enact. Fortunately, the Supreme Court has long since rejected the crabbed view of national legislative authority that necessarily lies behind such a challenge.

During the mid-1930s, when for a brief time the Court invalidated some aspects of the New Deal, a majority of the Justices accepted the argument that Congress lacks the power "to protect the general public interest and the health and comfort of the people. That argument was predicated on an exceedingly narrow conception of the authority of the federal government to address problems of national dimension under the commerce clause of the Constitution. The Court quickly abandoned that attack on the New Deal as inconsistent with the text and structure of the Constitution and, indeed, with the Court's own precedents. Noting that "there has long been recognition of the authority of Congress to obtain ... social, health or economic advantages from the exercise of constitutional powers, the Court concluded that Congress's authority over "commerce among the several States" empowers the national government to address all activity, "whatever its nature ... if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce.


Unfortunately there is little constitutional justification for a lot of what Congress does, and Obamacare is no different. Search as long as you like, and you will find no specific authority conveyed for the government to spend money on global-warming research, mass transit, food stamps, unemployment insurance, Medicaid, or countless items in the stimulus package etc. The Supreme Court overturned a lot of FDRs New Deal such as the NIRA, the Agricultural Adjustment Act and other parts of Roosevelt's "stimulus package." When he threatened to pack the Court, the Court capitulated and gave Congress virtually unlimited powers to tax, spend and regulate. Perhaps it is too late, but the courts may be the only avenue left to prevent the complete erosion of our constitutional liberties. Will the American people draw a line in the sand? I don't know.

#32 Tom Ray

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 03:23 PM

The Supreme Court overturned a lot of FDRs New Deal such as the NIRA, the Agricultural Adjustment Act and other parts of Roosevelt's "stimulus package." When he threatened to pack the Court, the Court capitulated and gave Congress virtually unlimited powers to tax, spend and regulate. Perhaps it is too late, but the courts may be the only avenue left to prevent the complete erosion of our constitutional liberties. Will the American people draw a line in the sand? I don't know.


FDR could not get away with it if what he was doing was not popular. The American people want a government that can mandate health insurance for all, apparently.

It will get interesting if one of the benefits of this health insurance is medical marijuana. Right now, only 7 people in the US can legally use it under federal law, though it's legal under many state and local laws. As we learned in the Raich case, if someone grows their own pot for personal medical use as authorized by their state and local government, that affects interstate commerce and is a federal crime. The Obama administration has announced they will relax enforcement of that law, but use of a Schedule 1 drug is often grounds for denial of various government benefits, not to mention individual rights like the right to keep and bear arms (922 (g)). I wonder if medical marijuana users will be excluded from Obamacare benefits?

#33 Tom Ray

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:09 PM

The Senate version may be relying on the power to tax as a source of regulatory power, according to former Reagan and Bush I Justice Dept lawyers...

The other obvious alternative is to use Congress's power to tax and spend. In an effort, perhaps, to anchor this mandate in that power, the Senate version of the individual mandate envisions that failure to comply would be met with a penalty, to be collected by the IRS. This arrangement, however, is not constitutional either.

Like the commerce power, the power to tax gives the federal government vast authority over the public, and it is well settled that Congress can impose a tax for regulatory rather than purely revenue-raising purposes. Yet Congress cannot use its power to tax solely as a means of controlling conduct that it could not otherwise reach through the commerce clause or any other constitutional provision. In the 1922 case Bailey v. Drexel Furniture, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not impose a "tax" to penalize conduct (the utilization of child labor) it could not also regulate under the commerce clause. Although the court's interpretation of the commerce power's breadth has changed since that time, it has not repudiated the fundamental principle that Congress cannot use a tax to regulate conduct that is otherwise indisputably beyond its regulatory power.



#34 Carl M

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:38 PM

A couple points of interest

Canada's Supreme Court ruled its citizens had the right to private health care { the public system proved damaging }



and this interesting comment today in the WSJ

" If ObamaCare does become law, to take an especially worrying example, it isn't hard to imagine a lot of Americans facing "individual predicaments," including threats to their lives from government rationing. It's some comfort to think they'll be able to petition for a stay—and to demand an answer to the question in that old Lipsky memo: "Where the hell does the Congress get the power to do that?"

http://online.wsj.co...0210923978.html

Our 'Constitutional Moment' The New York newspaperman says our founding document is especially vital today, in an age of expanding state power.

#35 Carl M

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:10 PM

Most people already understand the ill concieved rushed political Pelosi congress version of O care is DOA AND CLEARLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL .

Why would we as a nation waste so much time money and energy herding or forcing millions into Govt run care just to have it cause the same damage and mysery then be ruled unconstitutional by the SC .

Unsocialized Medicine
A landmark ruling exposes Canada's health-care inequity. Monday, June 13, 2005 12:01 A.M. EDT

. From the Supreme Court of Canada, . That high court issued an opinion last Thursday saying, in effect, that Canada's vaunted public health-care system produces intolerable inequality.


http://www.opinionjo...ml?id=110006813





The larger lesson here is that health care isn't immune from the laws of economics. Politicians can't wave a wand and provide equal coverage for all merely by declaring medical care to be a "right," in the word that is currently popular on the American left.

There are only two ways to allocate any good or service: through prices, as is done in a market economy, or lines dictated by government, as in Canada's system. The socialist claim is that a single-payer system is more equal than one based on prices, but last week's court decision reveals that as an illusion. Or, to put it another way, Canadian health care is equal only in its shared scarcity.

#36 Tom Ray

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:50 PM

They're already talking about the court challenges to the constitutionality of Obamacare on law.com...

First, he noted, Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) ruled out of order an amendment to the health care bill that would have required expedited judicial review of the constitutionality of the mandate and the $750-per-adult penalty to enforce it. Baucus said only the Judiciary Committee had jurisdiction over such amendments, but Rivkin and others said that has not been common Senate practice. "I think the fact that proponents are hostile to expedited judicial review ain't a sign of confidence," he said.

Second, he said, Baucus sought an opinion on the constitutional question from the Congressional Research Service. The CRS report, although generally supportive of constitutionality, said the controversy concerning whether Congress can use the commerce clause to require an individual to buy a good or service is "the most challenging question" and a "novel issue."

And finally, Rivkin said, committee staffers told him that the enforcement penalty is no longer called a "fine," but a "tax," which, he added, "suggests considerable anxiety about relying on the commerce clause."



#37 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:15 AM

Meanwhile, the idea is being dismissed on the left:

Erwin Chemerinsky:

Under an unbroken line of precedents stretching back 70 years, Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. People not purchasing health insurance unquestionably has this effect.


OK, so the current list of things that might affect interstate commerce and are therefore federal matters would include:

Homegrown wheat for personal use
Guns near schools
Indigenous California toads
Rape
Partial Birth Abortion
Homegrown cannabis plants for personal use
Homemade machine guns for personal use
Assisted suicide
and now...
People not purchasing health insurance

I still like the toads best, but then-judge and now Chief Justice Roberts said they do not affect interstate commerce. It's still funny to me that it was a question that was being considered seriously by a court.

#38 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:26 AM

And another left jab:

Those who claim the Commerce power does not reach this far cite two cases, United States v. Lopez (1995) and United States v. Morrison (2000), in which the Court struck down federal criminal statutes as not justified by the Commerce Clause. Both criminalized non-economic behavior, unlike the current proposed legislation which does not impose criminal sanctions and is aimed at economic conduct.


Yes, and not buying something is economic conduct, like growing your own wheat. <_< :rolleyes:

#39 NGS

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:34 AM

The larger lesson here is that health care isn't immune from the laws of economics. Politicians can't wave a wand and provide equal coverage for all merely by declaring medical care to be a "right," in the word that is currently popular on the American left.

There are only two ways to allocate any good or service: through prices, as is done in a market economy, or lines dictated by government, as in Canada's system. The socialist claim is that a single-payer system is more equal than one based on prices, but last week's court decision reveals that as an illusion. Or, to put it another way, Canadian health care is equal only in its shared scarcity.


A little off topic, but..... Amen, brother.

What most people really object to when they object to a free market is that it is so hard for them to shape it to their own will. The market gives people what the people want instead of what other people think they ought to want. At the bottom of many criticisms of the market economy is really lack of belief in freedom itself.

~ Milton Friedman, Wall Street Journal, May 18, 1961



#40 NGS

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:03 AM

And another left jab:

Those who claim the Commerce power does not reach this far cite two cases, United States v. Lopez (1995) and United States v. Morrison (2000), in which the Court struck down federal criminal statutes as not justified by the Commerce Clause. Both criminalized non-economic behavior, unlike the current proposed legislation which does not impose criminal sanctions and is aimed at economic conduct.


Yes, and not buying something is economic conduct, like growing your own wheat. <_< :rolleyes:


Ironically, if there is any legitimate application of the commerce clause regarding health care
it would be to overturn the restriction which prevents consumers from purchasing health
insurance across state lines.

#41 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:52 PM

That would be a valid exercise of the commerce power, but not a popular one with many state governments that enjoy having their own pet insurance industry and don't want to compete with a buncha city slickers. Mandating that individuals buy insurance and mandating what that insurance will cover are not, but I agree with the articles I posted above that say the Supreme Court is likely to uphold Obamacare. I think we could use a few more Justices like Clarence Thomas.

Here is the really reactionary part of Justice Thomas' dissenting opinion in the Raich case:

...("{T}hus far in our Nation's history our cases have upheld Commerce Clause regulation of intrastate activity only where that activity is economic in nature" (emphasis added)); Lopez, supra, at 560. To evade even that modest restriction on federal power, the majority defines economic activity in the broadest possible terms as the " 'the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities.' "7 Ante, at 23 (quoting Webster's Third New International Dictionary 720 (1966) (hereinafter Webster's 3d). This carves out a vast swath of activities that are subject to federal regulation. See ante, at 8—9 (O'Connor, J., dissenting). 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." The Federalist No. 45, at 313 (J. Madison). Moreover, even a Court interested more in the modern than the original understanding of the Constitution ought to resolve cases based on the meaning of words that are actually in the document. Congress is authorized to regulate "Commerce," and respondents' conduct does not qualify under any definition of that term.8 The majority's opinion only illustrates the steady drift away from the text of the Commerce Clause. There is an inexorable expansion from " 'commerce,' " ante, at 1, to "commercial" and "economic" activity, ante, at 20, and finally to all "production, distribution, and consumption" of goods or services for which there is an "established … interstate market," ante, at 23. Federal power expands, but never contracts, with each new locution. The majority is not interpreting the Commerce Clause, but rewriting it.

The majority's rewriting of the Commerce Clause seems to be rooted in the belief that, unless the Commerce Clause covers the entire web of human activity, Congress will be left powerless to regulate the national economy effectively. Ante, at 15—16; Lopez, 514 U.S., at 573—574 (Kennedy, J., concurring). The interconnectedness of economic activity is not a modern phenomenon unfamiliar to the Framers. Id., at 590—593 (Thomas, J., concurring); Letter from J. Madison to S. Roane (Sept. 2, 1819), in 3 The Founders' Constitution 259—260 (P. Kurland & R. Lerner eds. 1987). Moreover, the Framers understood what the majority does not appear to fully appreciate: There is a danger to concentrating too much, as well as too little, power in the Federal Government. This Court has carefully avoided stripping Congress of its ability to regulate interstate commerce, but it has casually allowed the Federal Government to strip States of their ability to regulate intrastate commerce–not to mention a host of local activities, like mere drug possession, that are not commercial.

One searches the Court's opinion in vain for any hint of what aspect of American life is reserved to the States. Yet this Court knows that " '[t]he Constitution created a Federal Government of limited powers.' " New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 155 (1992) (quoting Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 457 (1991)). That is why today's decision will add no measure of stability to our Commerce Clause jurisprudence: This Court is willing neither to enforce limits on federal power, nor to declare the Tenth Amendment a dead letter. If stability is possible, it is only by discarding the stand-alone substantial effects test and revisiting our definition of "Commerce among the several States."


Here is the context of the quote above from James Madison, Federalist 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal
government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State
governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised
principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign
commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part,
be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to
all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the
lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order,
improvement, and prosperity of the State.


Is making someone buy health insurance something "external" like war and foreign commerce, or is it more something that concerns the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State? I don't think Thomas is the reactionary who is rewriting the Constitution. I think he is right that the left wing of the court has been doing that for 70+ years on this issue, and it is inherently dangerous.

#42 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:11 PM

We could also use a few hundred more Congresscritters like Ron Paul, who voted for the partial birth abortion ban, but at least came right out and said in public that he was rewriting the Constitution by doing so:

Another problem with this bill is its citation of the interstate commerce clause as a justification for a federal law banning partial-birth abortion. This greatly stretches the definition of interstate commerce.


You leftists want to have some good fun? Go find the conservatives who voted for that bill and are now objecting to the current one and ask them why it's sometimes OK to stretch the commerce clause. They have earned the privilege of being asked that question.

#43 SIMONSAYS

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 02:52 PM

I have noticed that when the Constitution is being citied that the Libs around here don't have much to say!!!! What's up with this.
Poster's like Chucky D are around here. They always spew out that we are saying nothing but propaganda. UMM maybe it's them and all they know is propaganda. I like this. This is the only way we get these fucking Libs to shut the fuck up and stop fucking up our country. I think if they want health care from the Gov they should go and live with a country who provides it.... So we can get back to being a Great Nation of freemarkets and good ole' Capitalism.

#44 d'ranger

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 03:39 PM

I have noticed that when the Constitution is being citied that the Libs around here don't have much to say!!!! What's up with this.
Poster's like Chucky D are around here. They always spew out that we are saying nothing but propaganda. UMM maybe it's them and all they know is propaganda. I like this. This is the only way we get these fucking Libs to shut the fuck up and stop fucking up our country. I think if they want health care from the Gov they should go and live with a country who provides it.... So we can get back to being a Great Nation of freemarkets and good ole' Capitalism.

Maybe because this topic is like discussing the Bible with someone who believes it is the word for word truth straight from God? (note: the Constitution is a tremendous document and more accurate than the Bible but trying to make an argument that the government can't do anything unless it is specifically laid out in said document is, well, silly and worthy of a class on Constitutionalism). It does a great job of saying what the government CAN"T DO. The end.

And free markets and good ole' Capitalism are directly responsible for the crash of '29 and '08. Just ask Alan Greenspan who was instrumental in bringing it about (this time) and says that lack of regulation was his biggest mistake ever.

But don't worry - defeat healthcare and oversight of markets and soon you will have the paradise you want: no middle class.

edit: And all those countries that you would so like us to move to? The provide healthcare for everyone and at a fraction of what we spend. Those lower costs translate into guess what? Lower labor cost which translate into guess what? Lower cost of manufacturing which translates into guess what? Increased exports which translates into: well, if you don't know by now then my sign line is for you.

#45 Carl M

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:48 PM

Both "crashes' were caused by poor biz practises and too much credit and lending to high risk ventures .

One major cause of the Pelosi Reid congress 08 economic recession is failed Govt. policy dicated to Govt. Run morgage giants such as F MAE --the same poor biz practises and lending to high risk ventures . That along with the greed corruption graft and fraud that is so common in Washington . Politicians dictating policy based on their self serving political agendas is the problem --not the solution . Greed and poor practises and policy are not exclusive to those in the private or public sector . Those in the public sector just are more prone to it {often believing themselves to be above the law and granted special exemptions from investigation} --{they vote and give themselves }

You don't see any politician volunteering to give up the cadillac private health care plans they give themselves and go onto this public system they will try to force millions of others {the little people } onto ---do you ?

Breaking up huge companies is part of the solution {anti monopoly laws } and getting corrupt politicians and Govt OUT is another .

Legal reform is in omission { the same corrupt politicians recieve millions from trial lawyers each year } ie

Obama cut a backroom deal with big Pharma --that is in omission also from real cost savings which SHOULD BE the real goal .

Unfortuinately the real objective for our corrupt political class in power is more power control money based on their greed ---it all provides more opportunity for influence peddling graft fraud and coruption . It is what motivates them .

On a seperate note -
The hysteria and irrational acts of a large majority of people in the US over war and lack of belief in our country also helped lead to the recession --A recession is after all in part a lack of belief in the Govt and system . The politicians goal in to divide the nation --reward one side and take from the other to do so . The irrational often hysterical hatred towards the last guy in office allows the current ones in power to do just about whatever they want ,--all they nmeed do is keep the hysteria and irrational acts going . There are so many that readily follow this .

I,m pleased to see so many on the left or those suffering BDS more rational now over war but they never seem to be able to admit the hysteria they were caught up in over it , --they were pauns of an extremist agenda using media and the repeatition of the 24 -7 media cycle --that and a series of acts by Pelosi Reid and co helped by it . Micheal Moore is perhaps most symbolic of the idiocy and phony often preachy amorality of the left . Most seem very hypocritical now --others just ignorant {gaytor mentality types } that offer no realistic options or solutions .

The constitution and checks and balances {inc Supreme Court as final arbitrator } is the glue that holds our nation and its ideology together .

It is clearly being ignored by those pushing forced Govt run care on millions {or get fined and sent to prison for non compliance } .

Hard to believe anyone could be for this type of oppressive authoritarian Govt system and say they understand the basic intent along with individual rights and freedoms in the constitution.

On economics --O care fails --he lied about the costs from the start { the CBO corrected Obama }.

We all understand that every Govt. program costs 10 times the amount estimated based on phony and false politicians assumptions and basically hiding costs through various dishonest means and passing costs onto others {most of us 85% that have insurance } through raising taxes and costs of medical supplies equipement and everything else they can .

Nations under failing Govt run care are subject to rationing and often left in lines for months waiting . The horror stories are numerous { I,ve posted serveral }

These nations spend a huge percentage of their GNP on Govt run care --it costs more --bottom line --and provides less --it seems to provide a lot of misery for millions .

Our medicare system looses billions in fraud waste graft and corruption --it is bankrupt and will be perminently negative in 2016 --that means less care rationing or higher costs and more taxes .

The Govt has no real solutions and have no ability o correct this { how can THEY run presume to run and take over the entire medical profession ?

The lies and hope n change phony socialist utopian dream is just that --a phony lie that will cause severe damage and mysrery for millions forced into it .

#46 NGS

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 05:16 PM

That would be a valid exercise of the commerce power, but not a popular one with many state governments that enjoy having their own pet insurance industry and don't want to compete with a buncha city slickers. Mandating that individuals buy insurance and mandating what that insurance will cover are not, but I agree with the articles I posted above that say the Supreme Court is likely to uphold Obamacare. I think we could use a few more Justices like Clarence Thomas.

Here is the really reactionary part of Justice Thomas' dissenting opinion in the Raich case:

...("{T}hus far in our Nation's history our cases have upheld Commerce Clause regulation of intrastate activity only where that activity is economic in nature" (emphasis added)); Lopez, supra, at 560. To evade even that modest restriction on federal power, the majority defines economic activity in the broadest possible terms as the " 'the production, distribution, and consumption of commodities.' "7 Ante, at 23 (quoting Webster's Third New International Dictionary 720 (1966) (hereinafter Webster's 3d). This carves out a vast swath of activities that are subject to federal regulation. See ante, at 8—9 (O'Connor, J., dissenting). 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." The Federalist No. 45, at 313 (J. Madison). Moreover, even a Court interested more in the modern than the original understanding of the Constitution ought to resolve cases based on the meaning of words that are actually in the document. Congress is authorized to regulate "Commerce," and respondents' conduct does not qualify under any definition of that term.8 The majority's opinion only illustrates the steady drift away from the text of the Commerce Clause. There is an inexorable expansion from " 'commerce,' " ante, at 1, to "commercial" and "economic" activity, ante, at 20, and finally to all "production, distribution, and consumption" of goods or services for which there is an "established … interstate market," ante, at 23. Federal power expands, but never contracts, with each new locution. The majority is not interpreting the Commerce Clause, but rewriting it.

The majority's rewriting of the Commerce Clause seems to be rooted in the belief that, unless the Commerce Clause covers the entire web of human activity, Congress will be left powerless to regulate the national economy effectively. Ante, at 15—16; Lopez, 514 U.S., at 573—574 (Kennedy, J., concurring). The interconnectedness of economic activity is not a modern phenomenon unfamiliar to the Framers. Id., at 590—593 (Thomas, J., concurring); Letter from J. Madison to S. Roane (Sept. 2, 1819), in 3 The Founders' Constitution 259—260 (P. Kurland & R. Lerner eds. 1987). Moreover, the Framers understood what the majority does not appear to fully appreciate: There is a danger to concentrating too much, as well as too little, power in the Federal Government. This Court has carefully avoided stripping Congress of its ability to regulate interstate commerce, but it has casually allowed the Federal Government to strip States of their ability to regulate intrastate commerce–not to mention a host of local activities, like mere drug possession, that are not commercial.

One searches the Court's opinion in vain for any hint of what aspect of American life is reserved to the States. Yet this Court knows that " '[t]he Constitution created a Federal Government of limited powers.' " New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 155 (1992) (quoting Gregory v. Ashcroft, 501 U.S. 452, 457 (1991)). That is why today's decision will add no measure of stability to our Commerce Clause jurisprudence: This Court is willing neither to enforce limits on federal power, nor to declare the Tenth Amendment a dead letter. If stability is possible, it is only by discarding the stand-alone substantial effects test and revisiting our definition of "Commerce among the several States."


Here is the context of the quote above from James Madison, Federalist 45:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal
government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State
governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised
principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign
commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part,
be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to
all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the
lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order,
improvement, and prosperity of the State.


Is making someone buy health insurance something "external" like war and foreign commerce, or is it more something that concerns the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State? I don't think Thomas is the reactionary who is rewriting the Constitution. I think he is right that the left wing of the court has been doing that for 70+ years on this issue, and it is inherently dangerous.


So there are really two questions here: (1) Is Obamacare constitutional? I think we can agree that no reading of the Constitution would make it so. (2) If the question is put before the court, how will it rule? Based on history, I believe it would rule in favor of Obamacare, not because it would be constitutional but because the court has, as you point out, been doing this for many years.

It is this gradualism which I believe is so dangerous to the country. "You don't know what you've got 'till it's gone."

We can organize our economic lives along one of two lines. It can be by voluntary cooperation on the part of all individuals (the market), or it can be by virtue of command and coercion on the part of a centralized nanny state authority. The latter system is authoritarian. Progressivism is in essence the progressive loss of liberty. Economic liberty and political freedom are two sides of the same coin; really, you can't have one without the other. Liberals never get this, or if they do, they don't care. As Hayek put it: "Tyranny is the political corollary of socialism, as representative government is the political corollary of the market economy."

We are well on our way. The court, Congress and the American people seem hell-bent on accepting this gradual slide to centralized tyranny (The Road to Serfdom), and with Obama it is rapidly becomming a super freeway. As the interests of various political constituencies become more and more tied to the State, there is less interest in individual liberty and more and more competition for feeding at the public trough.

The problem is that socialism never works, and it always leads to more statist intervention in a downward spiral.
It does not work because central planning will never have at its disposal the information needed to organize economic activity (prices as information in economic theory) and issue anything other than arbitrary commands. And so socialist societies are eventually doomed to poverty and slavery. Ironically, this is exactly as planned and predicted by Marx in the Communist Manifesto which envisioned gradual steps “economically insufficient and untenable,” that “in the course of the movement outstrip themselves, (which) necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionizing the mode of production."

This is the path we are on. I seriously doubt that the Court will rule Obamacare unconstitutional.

#47 Carl M

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 06:20 PM

iT IS UP TO "WE THE PEOPLE " to see through the lies and understand how damaging the ideology is and eventually what a murderous oppressive authoritarian ideology it has been and lead to in human history .

The only way Pelosi can pass this crap is by not allowing "we the people" to read it and have it reviewed .

Instead Pelosi Frank Dodd Rangel and the corrupt congress push through bills before any can read them { their stimulus rip off trickle down from BIG GOVT. failure} or now this bill snuck through at 12 Sat night --they lied on the promise of having at least 72 hours to read it .

THEY LIE .

Now we are finding facts on how bad it really is . --All they can do is continue to lie --such as "it won't cost us more and provide less " --THEY LIE .

They have diverted costs onto all of us in medical supplies and equipment taxes {they don't include } -- they have us all paying in 3 years before it takes effect { phony accounting } -we all know every Govt run program is filled with graft fraud and corruption --and wastes billions , the costs are always several times over estimates . THEY lie .

CMS: House bill increases health care costs

http://www.politico....re_costs_.html#

Democrats have promised that health reform would reduce health care costs, but legislation the House passed last week would increase costs over the next decade by $289 billion. By 2019, health costs would rise to 21.1 percent of GDP

This report confirms what virtually every independent expert has been saying: Speaker Pelosi’s health care bill will increase costs, not decrease them,” said Rep. Dave Camp, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee. “This is a stark warning to every Republican, Democrat and Independent worried about the financial future of this nation. I hope my colleagues in the Senate heed CMS’ findings and refuse to rush ahead until any bill under consideration can be certified to actually reduce health care costs.”

.

#48 Tom Ray

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:04 PM

Maybe because this topic is like discussing the Bible with someone who believes it is the word for word truth straight from God? (note: the Constitution is a tremendous document and more accurate than the Bible but trying to make an argument that the government can't do anything unless it is specifically laid out in said document is, well, silly and worthy of a class on Constitutionalism). It does a great job of saying what the government CAN"T DO.


That's the direct opposite of the truth about how our government is structured and how the constitution is written. The part we are discussing in this thread, Article 1, Section 8, is a list of things the Congress CAN do, and anything not on the list is covered by the tenth amendment:

10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


The government CAN regulate interstate commerce, and so far that seems to mean that there is nothing the government CAN'T DO. Unless you have something in mind that would be beyond the reach of the commerce power as currently interpreted? I can't think of anything less interstate and less commercial than growing a wheat or cannabis plant for your own personal use, yet those things are covered. What might not be?

I'd be very interested in seeing this list of things the government can't do, but they did not write the Constitution that way. They wrote what the feds could do, then they wrote the last amendment in the Bill of Rights to make it clear that anything not authorized is something they CAN'T DO.

#49 spankoka

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:17 PM

A couple points of interest

Canada's Supreme Court ruled its citizens had the right to private health care { the public system proved damaging }


It was the Supreme Court of Quebec, but other provinces now seem to tolerate private health since presumably their courts would make the same decision. However Obama's plan doesn't resemble the Canadian system at all at this point.

#50 NGS

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 12:17 AM

This thread is about the constitutionality of Obamacare, but I can't let d'Rangers statement that "free markets and good ole' Capitalism are directly responsible for the crash of '29 and '08" go unanswered.

Of course this is the sort of drivel one would encounter in a high school civics class, but the truth is that neither the Great Depression nor the financial crisis of 2008 were the result of anything other than government meddling.

While the stock market crash in 1929 began with a speculative bubble (they happen, you know), the economy could have recovered rather rapidly if it weren't for a series of disastrous political decisions which followed. First, rather than acting as "lender of last resort" the Fed stood by and did nothing to halt the contraction in the money supply and prevent the bank failures which followed. (Avoiding this mistake again was one of the reasons for the bank bailout and the huge push to expand the money supply by the Fed in 2008). The other mistakes which came together in a perfect storm were passing the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act in 1930, a huge income tax increase which put the brakes on the recovery which was beginning, and Hoover and FDR's stupid public works projects which moved thousands of people out of the productive work force pool. Then, in another move which contracted the money supply further, the Fed in 1936 and 1937 increased bank reserve requirements. Most economists would agree that the Great Depression was a result of these government policies which were carried out simultaneously, not fundamental flaws with free market capitalism.

The 2008 financial crisis is another sordid tale of unintended consequences of do-good liberals and their social engineering. Beginning with the Community Reinvestment Act and as modified in 1993 and 1994 by Clinton, banks were forced to lower their underwriting standards to provide politically-correct lending to low income (and less credit worthy borrowers). "Progressive" groups like ACORN, by the way, were at the forefront in pushing banks and regulators in this direction. It was the spreading of these looser standards to the subprime loan market that vastly increased the availability of credit for mortgages, the speculation in housing, and ultimately the bubble in housing prices. FNMA and Freddie Mac were charged by Congress with the responsibility for creating the secondary market for these substandard loans because banks knew they were risky and didn't want to hold them in their portfolios. And thanks to Bawney Fwank and his friends, Fannie and Freddie used their social housing mission to avoid additional regulation especially restrictions on the huge expansion of their mortgage portfolios. Private lenders had to compete for loans with these governmental agencies and both were scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of loan quality. Before the collapse of home prices began in 2008, about half of all home loans being made in the United States were in non-prime loans. Certainly there were other factors --greedy investment bankers maybe; incompetent rating agencies; housing speculators; shortsighted homeowners; etc, but the important point to understand is that they were only following the economic incentives that government policy laid out for them.

These two episodes in our history are perfect, textbook examples of the unintended consequences of government policy gone awry. Stay tuned for episode three. It's called Obamacare.

#51 d'ranger

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:16 AM

This thread is about the constitutionality of Obamacare, but I can't let d'Rangers statement that "free markets and good ole' Capitalism are directly responsible for the crash of '29 and '08" go unanswered.

Of course this is the sort of drivel one would encounter in a high school civics class, but the truth is that neither the Great Depression nor the financial crisis of 2008 were the result of anything other than government meddling.

Funny that your examples of government meddling start with the government NOT doing anything. Not exactly meddling now is it? Kind of like your positions that things aren't unconstitutional because they aren't mentioned in the Constitution. They also are not prohibited by the Constitution so it's the perfect thing to argue about.

#52 NGS

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 04:15 AM

This thread is about the constitutionality of Obamacare, but I can't let d'Rangers statement that "free markets and good ole' Capitalism are directly responsible for the crash of '29 and '08" go unanswered.

Of course this is the sort of drivel one would encounter in a high school civics class, but the truth is that neither the Great Depression nor the financial crisis of 2008 were the result of anything other than government meddling.

Funny that your examples of government meddling start with the government NOT doing anything. Not exactly meddling now is it? Kind of like your positions that things aren't unconstitutional because they aren't mentioned in the Constitution. They also are not prohibited by the Constitution so it's the perfect thing to argue about.


The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) explicitly gave Congress the power over money and the regulation of its value, and this responsibility was delegated by Congress to the Federal Reserve. We get into trouble when Government strays from its constitutionally derived powers or when it fails to perform those functions which are within its constitutional scope. Once established, about 15 years prior to the '29 crash, the Federal Reserve was obligated to provide liquidity as that was its primary responsibility and one that the banking system relied upon. But my main point was that the Great Depression was not caused by unfettered market forces as you suggested. It is simply untrue.

Tom Ray already addressed your second point which I thought was pretty clear, but I will add to it. Just read what the founders of our country had to say on the issue:

"With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." James Madison


"Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." Thomas Jefferson


You can argue as many liberals including Obama do that the Constitution is or should be a "living document" that needs to be updated to fit the great progressive journey, but you cannot argue that this was the intent of our founders.

#53 Mark K

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 04:33 AM

Another Tom Jefferson quote:


Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

#54 Tom Ray

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:37 AM

Kind of like your positions that things aren't unconstitutional because they aren't mentioned in the Constitution.


Straw man. There have been a lot of posts (mostly mine, I admit) that point out that things aren't constitutional because they are not interstate commerce, but not because they are not mentioned at all.

#55 Tom Ray

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:40 AM

Another Tom Jefferson quote:


Thomas Jefferson wrote, "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."


So the idea that growing your own wheat for your own personal use is not interstate commerce is barbaric now?

Jefferson was a clever guy..

“Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” Thomas Jefferson


Somehow I think he might have disagreed with the Supreme Court in the Wickard case, since that case was in part about a federal crop subsidy program, which is another way of saying that it was about Washington telling citizens when to sow and when to reap.

#56 Tom Ray

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 09:47 AM

It does a great job of saying what the government CAN"T DO.


As mentioned, this thread is about enumerated powers, or what the government can do, and how left wing judges have stretched the meaning of "interstate commerce" to empower the federal government.

In case you missed it, there is a thread about how left wing judges have stretched the meaning of things the government can't do in order to empower government at the expense of individual property rights, specifically w/respect to the phrase "public use." So if you want to talk about what the govt can't do, that would be a good place to do it. ;)

#57 Tom Ray

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

Here's a funny rant from an indignant leftist who can't believe there are people who do not accept the validity of all the various commerce clause arguments for more and more federal power, and who agree with Clarence Thomas that the precedents should be revisited. He concludes quoting a blogger posing the fundamental question that will probably be answered in court:

So again, why is it that failure to purchase health insurance does not affect interstate commerce?


I expect Clarence Thomas' dissent will read a lot like it did in the Raich case. If this question...

...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.”



#58 Tom Ray

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 12:18 PM

In addition to objecting to this bill on the grounds that failure to buy something is not interstate commerce, nor even commerce at all, the one-size-fits-all aspect of it and the usurpation of individual choice bothers me. From today's WSJ:

Nearly every American would be required to obtain insurance, either through work, the newly created exchange or some other program. Low and middle income individuals and families would in many cases qualify for government assistance, such as the new tax subsidies that would be created. But if they chose not to obtain insurance, they could face a penalty up to $750. To help ease the financial burden on workers, Mr. Reid lowered the maximum amount the bill would require them to spend on premiums, capping premiums at 9.8% of income, down from 12%.

Some people have religious beliefs that insurance is like gambling, and is bad. Others just don't trust insurance companies, who seem to be friendly on TV and want to give you things, but when something bad happens it turns out the fine print says you pay, not them. While the $750 penalty is actually done under the taxing power and not as susceptible to the commerce clause objection, it seems to me a clear exercise of the "police power" in the broad legal sense of that term, which is supposed to be reserved to the states under our system.

So the Congress has decided that insurance is the right choice for every American and will penalize non-compliance (and if you don't pay the $750, the ultimate threat is they will lock you up), but then naturally they must go on to say what insurance will get you out of the penalty. They have decided that the right size for you is just under 10% of your income. They thought maybe 12% would be a better choice for you, but now 9.8% seems good, no matter who or where you are and what you make or spend.

Just going by the fact that we own more than we owe and we spend less than we take in, I'd have to say my wife and I are better qualified to make those kinds of calls than the bozos in Congress who are deep in debt, getting deeper, and running the printers full blast.

#59 Dog

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 04:23 PM

George Will on the topic today
http://www.realclear...ause_99203.html

#60 Tom Ray

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 10:23 AM

George Will on the topic today
http://www.realclear...ause_99203.html


On the assisted suicide case:

In 2006, the court overturned an interpretation of federal law that would have nullified Oregon's "right to die" statute. The court said states have considerable latitude in regulating medical standards, which historically have been primarily state responsibilities.


Yes, they did, but it was a question of interpretation, not statutory authority. You can tell that there was no real question of authority because you can read the entire opinion of the court without coming across the word commerce or the name Wickard.

I thought (surprise) that Justice Thomas captured the conflict in the court's thinking well in his dissent.

#61 Tom Ray

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:24 AM

You get some funny responses when you ask legislators to specify the constitutional authority of obamacare...

Sen. Nelson:

"Specifically, where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?" CNSNews.com asked Nelson.

"Well, you know, I don't know that I'm a constitutional scholar," said Nelson. So, I, I'm not going to be able to answer that question."

The senator then turned away to answer another reporter's question.


Sen. Akaka:

When CNSNews.com asked whether the Constitution gives Congress the authority to make Americans buy health insurance, Sen. Akaka said: "I'm not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what we're trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and that's where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that we're trying to present here is to make it accessible."

When asked if there was a specific part of the Constitutoin that gives Congress the authority to make people buy health insurance, Akaka said: "Not in particular with health insurance. It's not covered in that respect. But in ways to help citizens in our country to live a good life, let me say it that way, is what we're trying to do, and in this case, we're trying to help them with their health."


The article goes on to point out:

In 1994, when Congress was considering a universal health care plan proposed by then-President Clinton that included a mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studied the issue and discovered that the federal government had never in the history of the United States mandated that individuals purchase any good or service.

"A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action," said the CBO. "The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."

In an analysis published this July, the CBO said that an attempt to justify a mandate that people buy health insurance by using the Commerce Clause—which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce "among the several states"—raises a "novel issue."

"Whether such a requirement would be constitutional under the Commerce Clause is perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal, as it is a novel issue whether Congress may use this clause to require an individual to purchase a good or a service," said the CBO.


And the stretching of the commerce clause continues. Let's just refresh everyone's memory about what the guy who wrote the commerce clause had to say...

...it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the non-importing, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government...


I wonder if those Senators could answer the question today? I doubt it, actually. Despite all that has gone down, I seriously doubt most here could answer the question accurately.

#62 Mark K

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:33 PM

Anybody know a good medium? We need a seance with Mr. Madison. So many people are claiming to know what he would be thinking about fixing our current healthcare system, but there's only one way to find out for sure.

In his day, "doctors" were barbers.

#63 MoeAlfa

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:35 PM

Anybody know a good medium? We need a seance with Mr. Madison. So many people are claiming to know what he would be thinking about fixing our current healthcare system, but there's only one way to find out for sure.

In his day, "doctors" surgeons were barbers.


Physicians were always doctors, thank you.

#64 craigiri

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 05:37 PM

Anybody know a good medium? We need a seance with Mr. Madison. So many people are claiming to know what he would be thinking about fixing our current healthcare system, but there's only one way to find out for sure.

In his day, "doctors" were barbers.


Just make sure Mr. Hamilton and G. Washington and B. Franklin don't show up during that seance. Nanny will have a fit.:P

#65 Mark K

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:26 AM


Anybody know a good medium? We need a seance with Mr. Madison. So many people are claiming to know what he would be thinking about fixing our current healthcare system, but there's only one way to find out for sure.

In his day, "doctors" surgeons were barbers.


Physicians were always doctors, thank you.


I stand corrected. The ones that did the purging were the "physicians".

http://lewis-clark.o...?ArticleID=2564

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