Since reentering the blogosphere I have consciously avoided highly controversial subjects, especially those involving national politics, preferring instead to focus time and energy on my work and my causesâ€¦areas where I can impact my own life or the lives of others rather than be frustrated over something I canâ€™t control.
As a writer and observer of the human condition, some things are too fascinating to ignore. An issue that could be of historical importance is starting to appear in the national dialog: The unconstitutionality of the healthcare bill. There are those who believe that under no interpretation of our Founding Document can you mandate the citizens of this country, private or corporate, to buy health insurance, or levy a fine against them when they donâ€™t comply.
A groundswell of people and states who agree with that premise seems to be building. Idaho has been the first to pass legislation ordering the state Attorney General to sue the federal government if the healthcare bill becomes law. Similar legislation is pending in 37 other states.
According to some Constitutional scholars, the Constitutionâ€™s â€œsupremacy clause â€ which gives the federal government ultimate control over the states may win out, but with so many states willing to put up a fight, we may just find that healthcare reform has an unintended consequenceâ€¦a Constitutional Convention.
10 thoughts on “State’s Rights Showdown”
I tend to lean left yet would agree with you on this issue. There are some very good laws in PA that would be at risk in this Bill. This is indeed an important states rights issue. I am starting to think that the National Health care Reform Bill is an entitlement package for lawyers.
The National Healthcare Reform Bill has so many far-reaching consequences that from this vantage point we cannot see. I think we will all look back on these next few days as a pivotal moment in the country’s history.
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” (Article VI, Section 2)
Those who would argue that the “supremacy clause” justifies imposing the health insurance bill on the States and on the people, misread the clause.
Laws become part of the “supreme law of the land” only in so far as they are “in Pursuance” — the continuance of something done with a view to its completion — of the Constitution. In other words, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.
Acts of Congress consistent with its letter and original intent become so as well.
Acts of Congress that violate the Constitution are automatically null and void (regardless of legislative vote) — nullified by the Constitution itself, and therefore not part of the supreme law of the land.
Accomplishing what the president and some in his party wish to do with regard to health insurance would require a Constitutional amendment. However, while most amendments limit the power of the federal government and secure the liberty of the people, a health insurance mandate amendment would be on the order of Prohibition (18th Amendment)…expanding the power of centralized government, and reducing the liberty of the people. As you know, the 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition.
Live the Freedom,
Thanks for posting and for a such well-reasoned response. Being no Constitutional scholar, I’m not sure how the nuances of the Health Care Reform Bill might be argued before the Supreme Court, But to my untrained citizen’s eye, the Bill seems blatantly unconstitutional. There seems little doubt it will end up before our highest court.
Sad truth is a all too large part of the American public thinks if it will get something for nothing, the Constitution becomes immaterial. History has shown people will gladly trade away rights for security.
The Commerce clause suffers from the same over reach, the federal government can dictate on just about anything that can be exchanged for money, right down to the undies you choose to wear.
Clearly the health care bill is one of the slimiest pieces of legislation ever and clearly it will change the American economy for the worst. The Democrat leadership has intentionally misrepresented this bill (yes, Obama did lie) and it’s cost. Not discussed as much is the the attempt by Obama, Pelosi and Reid to have the federal government become sole financier of higher education by taking over student loans through the health care bill.
I have continually argued that in 2010 no one should vote for a Democrat. Even if you find a “good one”, in the end they will still be an enabler for Obama, Pelosi and Reid.
I’m glad you brought up the issue of the take over of student loans by the government. I would venture to say that few people even realize that sea change is buried in this Bill. It’s hard to believe that people we’ve elected to represent us are going to vote for this legislation when 77% of those polled are saying they don’t want it.
Though we have not seen such a disregard for the 10th Amendment since FDR, I would suggest that we all take heart. This president has all but ensured the return of power to the opposition in November. It may pass now, but this healthcare bill will never see the light of day.
I’m not sure that’s true that the victory of the opposition is all but insured. Thinking that way can make for complacency and backlash. But it certainly is going to make for an interesting election cycle. Ad for the Bill never seeing the light of day, you are much more of an optimist than I.
“This president has all but ensured the return of power to the opposition in November.”
Unless the Republicans are prepared to spend 2011 & 2012 giving Democrats black eyes at every turn they will be out in 2012. 2011 & 2012 will not be the time to make friends, they have to vigorously articulate a strong arguement for their values and why they are good for America.
When I say “ensured”, I mean that if Obama and Co. push this through, they will have inspired a backlash will only intensify. Defeating this bill may be more of a catalyst for complacency. Kind of like “Hey, we did it, now let’s go have a beer”.
If it passes, then the wrong has been committed, and that wrong will be the lightening rod that draws even more energy to punish those who would defy the public. The deals that were added to get the last few votes will become Willie Horton ads against those involved.
The president and his sycophant MSM will be better armed in November if they lose, so they can villify the Republicans as they did in the Clinton era, accusing the GOP of depriving kids of school lunches and forcing Grandma to eat dogfood.