Monday, December 13, 2010

Key Obamacare Provision Found Unconstitutional

A Virginia judge ruled against the federal government today, finding that the mandate for citizens to buy insurance is not constitutional. The judge's finding is crucial because it represents the first judicial blow against the leviathan known as Obamacare. The judge ruled that the federal government could not say to the American people that this mandate was not a tax, then turn around and defend the mandate by saying that it basically was a tax that is covered under the commerce clause. From the WSJ:
A federal court ruled Monday that a central plank of the health law violates the Constitution, dealing the biggest setback yet to the Obama administration's signature legislative accomplishment.In a 42-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said the law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty "exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power."

The individual mandate "would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers," wrote Judge Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia. "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

This is what we have been saying all along. Essentially the individual mandate is a tax on human life. A tax on breathing. This flies in the face of the basic tenets of freedom of individual choice, which liberals are supposed to view as sacred.
In his ruling, Judge Hudson wrote that the Interstate Commerce Clause wasn't sufficient for Congress to establish the individual mandate. He said Congress lacked precedent for "regulation of a person's decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme."

Judge Hudson took some jabs at the law. In discussing whether Congress intended the law to stand if the mandate weren't included, he wrote that it was difficult to assess "given the haste with which the final version of the 2,700-page bill was rushed to the floor for a Christmas Eve vote."

He said the court was finding invalid only the part of the law that establishes the individual mandate, and any directly dependent provisions that refer to that part.

As usual, libs are trying to say that this will hurt people and that they need such huge powers to prevent insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Um, how is making everyone buy insurance related to pre existing conditions? Only twisted liberal logic knows.

For the full text of the ruling, go here.

This decision, even though it doesn't fully vacate or injunct the law, is still key because it gives a reasoned and cogent argument why the healthcare law is unconstitutional. It lays out in judicial language why this is such a gross abuse of power. Of course, this will eventually reach the Supreme Court, where the onus will be on the judges to decide if they want to overturn a solid legal opinion for political expediency. Still to be decided of course are several other state lawsuits, including one that 20 plus states are a part of.

This is a key first battlefield victory over the repressive, expensive, and crippling Obamacare initiative. We need to stay vigilant and still go about repeal in the House and getting something done or on record in the Senate, because who knows how the US Supreme Court will rule, whether Kagan will recuse herself (she was involved with some aspects of the bill), and whether middling justices like Kennedy will shred the Constitution or not.


Eric Cantor is calling for a direct appeal to the US Supreme Court. From National Review:
Today’s ruling is a clear affirmation that President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The efforts of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli have raised legitimate concerns and ensured that the people of the Commonwealth will have their rights protected against this unconstitutional law. Ultimately, we must ensure that no American will be forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford.

“To ensure an expedited process moving forward, I call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to join Attorney General Cuccinelli in requesting that this case be sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.

Update 2

This one from CNS News...It seems Nancy Pelosi doesn't care about whether what government does can be traced to the Constitution. I mean, who cares, it is only the framework and blueprint for our government, right? She doesn't take the Constitution seriously, nor probably her oath to defend it. Here is the skinny: originally published this story in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed the question of whether Obamacare was constitutional on Oct. 22, 2009.When asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance--a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill--Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”The exchange with Speaker Pelosi on Thursday occurred as follows: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?

Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?" “Yes, yes I am."Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a "serious question."

“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

That is disgusting. I think lawmakers should know where the authority for such things come from, or they shouldn't propose the cursed things.

Let's hope that this is but one of the beginning nails in the coffin for Obamacare and death panels.