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>>Is the Health Care Lawsuit For Real? | Cato @ Liberty

Posted on: March 25, 2010

Is the Health Care Lawsuit For Real? | Cato @ Liberty

At last count I saw there were  17 states suing the Congress on the Health Care Bill, while 30 states are passing or writing legislation to counteract compliance with he bill.  There is no doubt there is a great deal of discontent and even anger in the nation towards the government on this issue and it is no wonder as more and more comes out about the lies (pardon me, that should be: misunderstandings and misstatements)  that Obama and Congress people have told us and each other to get this bill passed by a bare majority.

Here is what the Cato Institute says:

Is the Health Care Lawsuit For Real?

Posted by Ilya Shapiro

The Hill asked me the following question:

Thirteen state attorneys general have filled a lawsuit claiming that the new healthcare reforms are unconstitutional.  Is this a real legal challenge or a political stunt?

Here’s my response:

The challenge is very real—and necessary—but we are in uncharted territory here so it’s difficult to predict how courts will react.

The strongest and most important legal argument attacks the constitutionality of the individual mandate to buy a certain approved health insurance plan. Never before has the federal government—or any other—tried to force Americans to buy a particular good or service. Never before has it said that every man, woman, and child alive has to purchase a particular product, on penalty of civil or criminal sanction or forfeiture. And never before have courts had to consider such a breathtaking assertion of raw power — not even during the height of the New Deal, when the Supreme Court ratified Congress’ regulation of what people grew in their backyards on the awkward theory that such behavior affected interstate commerce.

The individual health care mandate is an even greater expansion of congressional power under the Commerce Clause. And it cannot be justified under the Necessary and Proper or General Welfare Clauses either, because these provisions guide the exercise of Congress’ enumerated powers without adding to them. In short, if the challenges to this health care “reform” fail, nobody will ever be able to claim plausibly that the Constitution limits federal power.

You can read here the responses of other pundits — including several non-lawyers, curiously.


2 Responses to ">>Is the Health Care Lawsuit For Real? | Cato @ Liberty"

Actually this will not be the first time a suit was used so it is not uncharted waters. There have been several court cases.

In particular in 1935 the Court unanimously ruled that the National Recovery Act (NRA) was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the president. Roosevelt stunned Congress in early 1937 by proposing a law allowing him to appoint five new justices, a “persistent infusion of new blood.

The Court also drew back from confrontation with the administration by finding the Labor Relations and Social Security Acts to be constitutional. Deaths and retirements on the Supreme Court soon allowed Roosevelt to make his own appointments to the bench with little controversy. Between 1937 and 1941, he appointed eight justices to the court.

And that is when the Progressives got their foot in the door! BB

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