By now you’ve probably heard that ObamaCare has once again been ruled unconstitutional.
In response, South Dakota’s Attorney General Marty Jackley released a statement which said in part:
“Improving healthcare is too important to build on an unconstitutional foundation through a process that failed to respect the rights of states and individuals,” stated Attorney General Jackley. “Today’s Court ruling confirms that Congress’ powers are not unlimited, and that individual and state’s rights must be respected. Although an appeal of this decision by the federal government is eminent, the Federal Court has now given Congress direction to bring needed change to our healthcare system within the framework of our Constitution.”
The decision by federal judge C. Roger Vinson had been eagerly awaited by both proponents and opponents of ObamaCare, but it turned out to be an even more bitter disappointment for the socialists.
Early in the decision, “Father of the Constitution” James Madison is quoted highlighting an important principle of Americanism that is forgotten by many and held in contempt by some:
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Indeed. The American form of government recognized from the Judeo-Christian worldview that human beings are fallen, sinful creatures who have a strong propensity to quash the rights and freedoms of their fellow man–a propensity which not only follows into government, but is magnified by government power.
It is therefore no wonder that the architects of our Constitution enumerated the few powers delegated to the federal government in Article 1 Section 8–and health care systems, welfare redistribution systems and systems of charity are not among those powers. The Tenth Amendment further makes this clear.
Judge Vinson also notes another important statement about the limited powers of the federal government made by Madison:
The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. … The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all 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 states.
Vinson also repudiates the Leftists who think our Constitution is outdated and obsolete:
Rather than being the mere historic relic of a bygone era, the principle behind a central government with limited power has “never been more relevant than in this day, when accretion, if not actual accession, of power to the federal government seems not only unavoidable, but even expedient.”
No kidding. In a day and age when corrupt power-mongers consider themselves entitled to decide how other Americans should live and what other Americans should do with their own property, the protections and checks on power built into our Constitution are more important than ever.
Liberals have long abused the Commerce Clause as an excuse for the federal government to bypass Article 1 Section 8 and do whatever it wants, and the Commerce Clause is at the heart of the Obama Administration’s weak defense of ObamaCare. Judge Vinson quickly dismantles that abuse, pointing out that the regulation of interstate commerce by the federal government was intended to minimize trade barriers between states and for the federal government to act as “referee” in interstate trade disputes.
Hearkening back to Senator Tom Coburn’s embarrassing questioning of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan (embarrassing for the nominee, that is) in which she would not deny federal power to dictate what Americans may eat, Vinson raised the theoretical questions of federal authority to order Americans to eat broccoli because it is healthy and would thus lower health care costs. In examining the individual mandate to purchase health coverage, he also examined silly but nevertheless historical arguments that not engaging in commerce is a form of interstate commerce and thus subject to federal authority…and rejected this nonsense.
Judge Vinson also dealt with another favorite of constitutional usurpers, namely the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” by recalling that
the Clause is not an independent source of federal power; rather, it is simply “a caveat that the Congress possesses all the means necessary to carry out the specifically granted ‘foregoing’ powers of [section] 8 ‘and all other Powers vested by this Constitution.’ [It] is ‘but merely a declaration, for the removal of all uncertainty, that the means of carrying into execution those (powers) otherwise granted are included in the grant.’”
Ultimately, the Necessary and Proper Clause vests Congress with the power and authority to exercise means which may not in and of themselves fall within an enumerated power, to accomplish ends that must be within an enumerated power.
In ruling that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, he effectively ruled that the entire law was unconstitutional because that provision of the law is instrumental to carrying out the entire program. He notes that even the proponents of ObamaCare consider the individual mandate essential to the operability of the entire law: “the defendants concede that [the individual mandate] is absolutely necessary for the Act’s insurance market reforms to work as intended. In fact, they refer to it as an ‘essential’ part of the Act at least fourteen times in their motion to dismiss.”
In his footnotes, Judge Vinson points out the hypocrisy of Candidate Obama vs. President Obama.
Indeed, I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that “if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.”
Mandates are pooh-poohed when he needs the votes of people who just might treasure their freedom…but freedom goes flying out the door once power is secured.
An interesting point not upheld in the plaintiff’s case was that the federal government was going to bankrupt the states through new changes made to Medicaid through ObamaCare. This manipulation cannot be denied, but as Judge Vinson points out, the states are ultimately not powerless here. They can still withdraw from Medicaid if they want to…they will just lose federal funds for the program if they do. This will have the effect of suddenly bankrupting a charitable wealth redistribution health care program the states and the federal government have already been running for a long time.
To cut to the chase, the states cut their own knees out from under themselves when they got into bed with the federal government on this unconstitutional program to begin with. The states could certainly create and maintain a charitable wealth redistribution health care program of their own if they want; nothing in the federal constitution prohibits this. But when they start taking the financial cocaine of federal dollars to fund Medicare, they make themselves servant to the lender. They could back out of this arrangement if they want to…but like the druggie to the dealer, they are now too dependent on the substance and have little choice but to dance to the dealer’s tune.
Since common sense and a functioning moral compass have become so rare in our government–especially the judiciary–any day where common sense and the Constitution are upheld is a day to be celebrated. But make no mistake: the socialists will continue to appeal this and push for ObamaCare all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court–where it will be decided by Justice Kagan and some other judges who think like her.
Victory is not assured, and we must not rest on our laurels. We must be busy in every way possible to insulate on multiple levels against this attack on the American way of life.
This 78-page decision contains a wealth of valuable insight into our nation’s history, our great constitution, and the American way of life. I plan on reading it through again more thoroughly, and encourage all Americans to do the same. We must know our heritage in order to preserve it.