ObamaCare Goes to Court + More

Posted on Mon 03/26/2012 by

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The Patriot Post  Brief

 

The Foundation

“[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another.” –Thomas Jefferson

Essential Liberty

ObamaCare In Court

“On Monday, ObamaCare will get its first of several days before the Supreme Court. All nine justices (no recusals) will hear six hours of argument spread over three days. Here’s what to expect: Monday, March 27, 10:00 a.m. — The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on whether a federal tax law bars any challenge to the mandate requiring all individuals to purchase or obtain health insurance. … Tuesday, March 27, 10:00 a.m. — The Court will hear two hours of argument on the main event: the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate that requires all Americans to buy a health insurance policy or be subject to a penalty imposed by the IRS. … Wednesday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. — The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on the issue of severability: can any part of the ObamaCare Act survive if the Court were to strike down the individual insurance mandate or any other part of the law? … Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 p.m. — The Court will hear a final hour of argument examining the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s expansion of the federal Medicaid program. … As always, the sessions will not be televised. However, the Court has promised to release the audio file of the oral arguments by 2:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. And no, I don’t know how you can get a ticket to get in to hear the arguments other than by standing in line with everyone else for what will be the most important case decided by the Supreme Court since Brown v. Board of Education. It will be a momentous week for the interests of liberty, freedom, and the preservation of a constitutional republic.” –Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky

Government

“Whether or not the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) proves to be constitutionally valid, it is based on mistaken premises, faulty economic analysis, short-sighted politics, and seriously flawed health policy. … The strongest constitutional law arguments against the PPACA’s individual mandate begin with the essential point that it is unprecedented and not bound by any limiting principle. It seriously threatens the concept that enumerated powers under the Constitution set some limits on the scope of permissible federal authority. … But the mandate is troubling for other reasons. Defining and implementing a mandate entails many additional rules regarding exactly what it requires, how to carry it out, and who pays for it. Once we presume government is ultimately responsible for guaranteeing every American has purchased the required health insurance, we also guarantee a permanent and ever-more-intrusive role for politicians and their favored interest groups in translating that goal into practice. … Insurance mandates that conscript more individuals to pay for new, expanded coverage can act like a tax to help fund additional health spending. … Not surprisingly, an individual mandate has the least support from those it is purported to help: people who currently do not enroll in public coverage or employer-sponsored insurance or purchase individual coverage. Trying to force people to buy insurance they cannot afford or coercing them into paying more for coverage than its perceived value remains politically difficult.” –American Enterprise Institute’s Thomas P. Miller

For the Record

“[T]he Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, has focused on this fact: The individual mandate is incompatible with centuries of contract law. … The brief, the primary authors of which are IJ’s Elizabeth Price Foley and Steve Simpson, says Obamacare is the first time Congress has used its power to regulate commerce to produce a law ‘from which there is no escape.’ … Throughout the life of this nation it has been understood that for a contract to be valid, the parties to it must mutually assent to its terms — without duress. In addition to duress, contracts are voidable for reasons of fraud upon, or the mistake or incapacity of, a party to the contract. This underscores the centrality of the concept of meaningful consent in contract law. To be meaningful, consent must be informed and must not be coerced. Under Obamacare, the government will compel individuals to enter into contractual relations with insurance companies under threat of penalty. … Furthermore, although the Constitution permits Congress to make laws ‘necessary and proper’ for executing its enumerated powers, such as the power to regulate interstate commerce, it cannot, IJ argues, be proper to exercise that regulatory power in ways that eviscerate ‘the very essence of legally binding contracts.’ … IJ correctly says that if the court were to ratify Congress’ disregard for settled contract law, Congress’ ‘power to compel contractual relations would have no logical stopping point.’ Which is why this case is the last exit ramp on the road to unlimited government.” –columnist George Will

Don't Judge Me, Till You See The Movie.

The Gipper

“[I]t doesn’t require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. … The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.” –Ronald Reagan

Political Futures

“[I]f Mitt wins the nomination, as seems very likely, I will enthusiastically support his candidacy. For my friends who have hesitation on that score, I’d just ask you to keep four things in mind: Justice Scalia just turned 78, Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year, Justice Breyer will be 76 in August, and Justice Ginsburg turned 81 about a week ago. We wish them all well, of course, but the brute fact is that whoever we elect as president in November is almost certainly going to choose at least one and maybe more new members of the Supreme Court — in addition to hundreds of other life-tenured federal judges, all of whom will be making momentous decisions about our lives for decades to come. If you don’t think it matters whether the guy making those calls is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I think you’re smokin’ something funky.” –columnist Andrew McCarthy

Opinion in Brief

“We’re constantly told that the way to fix the country is to dethrone the left and right and empower the middle. … What if instead the solution is to disempower the national elites who think they’ve got the answers to everything? Federalism — the process whereby you push most political questions to the lowest democratic level possible — has been ripe on the right for years now. It even had a champion in Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Ron Paul still carries that torch. The main advantage of federalism is more fundamental than the so-called ‘laboratories of democracy’ idea. Federalism is simply the best political system ever conceived of for maximizing human happiness. A one-size-fits-all policy imposed at the national level has the potential to make very large numbers of citizens unhappy, even if it was arrived at democratically. … A left-right federalist compromise would make America a happier, freer, more prosperous and interesting country. It would also dethrone those in both parties who think they know what’s best for more than 300 million Americans.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

Re: The Left

“Even though President Obama realizes that exploding gasoline prices are beginning to incinerate his reelection bid, his only remaining, but favorite, defense is demonizing ‘Big Oil.’ Too bad for him it is factually false. First, the oil and gas industry [is] one of the main ‘drivers’ of the U.S. economy, and is, perhaps the only, short-term solution to our economic recovery. A report from the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with IHS-CERA, shows the oil and gas industry drives U.S. job creation, with oil and natural gas production accounting for 9% of new U.S. jobs last year. … In 2011, ExxonMobil paid $108.1 billion in total worldwide taxes, up from $89.2 billion in 2010, according to its filings, with the income tax portion being $30.5 billion. Exxon also pays taxes to foreign governments where it operates. As to ExxonMobil’s United States share, they paid $12.3 billion for federal, state, sales, property, and excise taxes. Overall, that makes Exxon the biggest payer of U.S. corporate taxes. … President Barack Obama may get ‘burned’ by this very open and fact-free ‘Grand Deceit,’ just as he did for his falsely blaming Republicans for the failure of the debt-ceiling negotiations.” –columnist Jeffrey Klein

Reader Comments

“It is disturbing that Alexander’s commentary on the power of women voters,Who Will Elect the Next President?,’ received so few reader comments. Either your readers were confused by the subject line and thought the topic was the Electoral College, or too many conservatives really don’t get the fact, as Alexander made plain, that the next election WILL be decided by women.” –Politickler

“OK Alexander, you left out one factor in regard to how women vote, and as a woman who knows lots of other women, let me assure you that we also vote for men, and women when they are on the ballot, who look the part. Yes, the appearance of a candidate really matters to many of us, though it does not trump more cerebral characteristics.” –California Lady Liberty

Editor’s Reply: Well, truth be told, several of our in-house experts noted appearance as a factor, but as the author of this essay, I could not bring myself do suggest that “good looks” is a factor. But I thank you for mentioning it so I can post YOUR view without undue criticism.

“We vote Democrat too often because we make decisions that are driven by emotion more than reason and logic. I want an honest man with the guts to do what is right — not just what is politically expedient. I am amazed how many of my well educated colleagues let emotions lead their political views, rather than overarching issues like Liberty and, as you often note, its Rule of Law foundation. The Democrats have thoroughly exploited this angle!” –Lone Star Lawyer

“Alexander wrote, ‘During Women’s History Month,’ Obama proclaimed, ‘we … reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security and dignity of women…’ Apparently Obama is not too troubled by the abysmal treatment of women in the Muslim dominated societies with whom he seems so intent on making nice.” –Traveller

“The Ryan Plan is a good start, but needs to go much further and get rid of the Department of Education that doesn’t educate, the Department of Energy that has never produced any energy, the Environmental Protection Agency that destroys the economy in frivolous illegal regulations, and the IRS with the implementation of a flat tax.” –wjm

“Paul Ryan’s plan, while commendable, does not go far enough. We need bold action now like what Senator Rand Paul is putting forward!” –Todd

“I am by no means putting down SEAL Team Six’s success on deep sixing UBL but Joe Biden shouldn’t forget the audacity of Operation Eagle Claw, The Son Tay Raid, or the Raid at Cabanatuan (resulting in the rescue of more than 500 Americans). These are but just three that come to mind from the last 67 years. I would also like to mention, though not as dangerous, that there was an equally audacious raid on December 16, 1773, when a ragtag group of Patriots stood up to an empire.” –Rouhana

The Last Word

“I write about a lot of things on my blog and in my columns. But I also leave a lot of news uncovered — because, simply, there isn’t enough time in the day. This week, progressives and lib media activists elevated a tragic Florida shooting involving a 17-year-old boy into the cause celebre of the week. … [F]or the past several days, zealous libs on Twitter have demanded that I ‘say something.’ Why? Because they’ve turned the horrible death of Trayvon Martin into a racial litmus test. And now, Barack Obama is all too willing to pour gas on the fire. ‘President Obama weighed in Friday on the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, calling it a national tragedy — and saying that the young man reminded him of his own children. “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” Obama said in Rose Garden remarks. … “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.”‘ … What do Trayvon’s race and looks have to do with anything? The political opportunism undercuts the very ‘seriousness’ Obama purports to display. The Al Sharpton/New Black Panthers Party-led mob is forging ahead with its polarizing racial profiling narratives [including a $10,000 bounty for capturing the shooter] despite the fact that the alleged shooter is Hispanic and multiracial. … No matter. The blame game bonanza is in full swing, with Barack Obama’s tacit consent.” –columnist Michelle Malkin

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)

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