Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Obama Care Violates U.S. Constitution
As many of you already know, a federal judge in Florida has invalidated Obama Care. The portion of the statute that required people to purchase health insurance from a private source was deemed beyond the power of Congress. Some excerpts from the opinion are below: “The Commerce Clause originally applied to the trade and exchange of goods as it sought to eliminate trade barriers by and between the states. Over the years, the Clause’s reach has been expanded from covering actual interstate commerce (and its channels and instrumentalities) to intrastate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce. It has even been applied to activities that involve the mere consumption of a product (even if there is no legal commercial interstate market for that product). To now hold that Congress may regulate the so-called “economic decision” to not purchase a product or service in anticipation of future consumption is a “bridge too far.” It is without logical limitation and far exceeds the existing legal boundaries established by Supreme Court precedent. Because I find both the “uniqueness” and “economic decision” arguments unpersuasive, I conclude that the individual mandate seeks to regulate economic inactivity, which is the very opposite of economic activity. And because activity is required under the Commerce Clause, the individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined, and applied in the existing Supreme Court case law. . . . (3) Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate The individual mandate is outside Congress’ Commerce Clause power, and it cannot be otherwise authorized by an assertion of power under the Necessary and Proper Clause. It is not Constitutional. Accordingly, summary judgment must be granted in favor of the plaintiffs on Count I. . . . [On Severability—the entire statute is invalid] “In sum, notwithstanding the fact that many of the provisions in the Act can stand independently without the individual mandate (as a technical and practical matter), it is reasonably “evident,” as I have discussed above, that the individual mandate was an essential and indispensable part of the health reform efforts, and that Congress did not believe other parts of the Act could (or it would want them to) survive independently. I must conclude that the individual mandate and the remaining provisions are all inextricably bound together in purpose and must stand or fall as a single unit. The individual mandate cannot be severed. This conclusion is reached with full appreciation for the “normal rule” that reviewing courts should ordinarily refrain from invalidating more than the unconstitutional part of a statute, but non-severability is required based on the unique facts of this case and the particular aspects of the Act. This is not a situation that is likely to be repeated.” I believe this judge’s analysis is correct. However, at least one other U.S. District Court Judge has found the law constitutional. This case seems destined to the U.S. Supreme Court to provide us with a final answer. The full opinion is available at the LINK.