“If the government can just order you to buy something, and fine you if you don’t, they can order you to do anything,” -Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
The US Supreme court this week will hear six hours of argument over three days concerning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare. The unprecedented suit against this bill was brought by 26 state attorney generals on behalf of their states. This challenge will be the most important case the Supreme Court has heard in the last 50 years. I predict the outcome of this case will be viewed by historians and many future generations as either a major milestone in destroying the American Republic and its core strength of Federalism or a possible turning point in restoring the power of the constitution.
Obamamacare represents the culmination of the progressive movement’s near century drive to destroy federalism and its unique dual system of sovereignty. One of the reasons for listing of the enumerated powers of the Federal Government in the constitution by the framers was to guarantee sovereignty of the individual state governments in the new Federal Union. The fear of many of the representatives of the original 13 states that meet at constitutional convention in 1787 was that the new congress would become a “National Legislature” and usurp the power of the states and their individual citizens. To allay these fears the 9th and 10th amendments were added to the constitution.
Progressives ever since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson has tried to dismantle federalism first with the 17th amendment which took the power of electing senators from the individual state legislatures and nationalized it by direct election. Further erosion of
State power occurred during President Franklin Roosevelt’s new deal and the Supreme Court case: Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942),which allowed the expansion of the commerce clause into areas the founders never intended “Intrastate Trade”.
President Obama’s solicitor general will argue the case in front of the court will state that the individual mandate which requires the purchasing health insuranceor be accessed a “penalty” is based on the Federal Government’sbroad constitutional authority to Tax. It is ironic that the President during the congressional healthcare debate in 2010 insisted the mandate was not a tax but a penalty.
If the court accepts this argument then this would be the first tax that is not related to any economic activity. It would be a tax for not engaging in commerce by not buying insurance. This would be a tax for just existing. This would in my opinion be unthinkable and would give the federal Government the ability to regulate almost everything in a citizen’s life.
The individual states in this would be relegated to mere provinces and agents carrying out the will of the Federal Government. This would essentially make the tenth amendment meaningless. Even if the President loses reelection the healthcare bill might never beRepealed. The upholding of this law would set precedent in expanding Federal power over the states and individuals. The only other course of action to counteract this would be for three-quarters of the states (38) to call for an “article five convention” as prescribed in the constitution. The purpose for this convention would be to propose amendments to reign in Federal Power. My answer to those in the past who fear a “runaway” convention would in the case of an Obamacare supreme court affirmation that the Federal Government and the courts have already ignored the constitution and it is now up to the States and the people who created the Federal Government to take back their freedoms.
The course of the Republic is now in the hands of the justices, Let us pray that they do their duty and follow the constitution as our founders intended.
Just my opinion-D.B.