A Blow To Lawlessness And Socialism

…and a victory for the Constitution:

A federal judge declared the Obama administration’s health care law unconstitutional Monday, siding with Virginia’s attorney general in a dispute that both sides agree will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I would have been surprised (and dismayed) had it gone any other way. Let’s get it to appellate and the Supreme Court quickly, before Obama is able to stack it with more Elena Kagens who, as Jeff Sessions demonstrated, don’t seem to think that there are any limits whatsoever to the federal government’s reach into individuals’ personal decisions.

[Update a few minutes later]

Great minds…apparently Cuccinelli has requested a direct appeal to SCOTUS. This is unusual, but it may happen, given the magnitude of the decision and its impact.

[Update a couple minutes later]

More from Bryan Preston. I love this display of idiocy by Josh Marshall:

Josh Marshall, in a state of shock, says that “no one” took the constitutional argument against ObamaCare seriously. Obviously a majority of the voters did, a couple dozen state attorneys general did, and a federal judge has as well.

It’s one thing to argue that it’s constitutional. It’s another to be so willfully blind as to imagine that “no one” thought it wasn’t. This kind of delusion is one of the reasons they got “shellacked” last month.

[Update a few minutes later]

A link roundup at How Appealing.

[Update a while later]

It’s unconstitutional and unpopular. What’s not to like?

But of course, as Nancy said, we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. That’s the way it is with bills of thousands of pages that no one reads.

[Update a few minutes later]

Memo to Bob Gibbs, who has now gone all Orwellian on us, rebranding the “individual mandate” “individual responsibility.” Even granting for the sake of argument only that I have such a responsibility, the Constitution still doesn’t allow the federal government to compel me at gunpoint to be “responsible.” Sorry, no sale.

26 thoughts on “A Blow To Lawlessness And Socialism”

  1. First you have to understand that “No one” means “No one sane” to Josh, and since Republicans and other opponents are ill-educated andor sub-human, they don’t qualify. QED.

    When you convert every argument into an “Appeal to Authority” argument, then only accept your own authorities as having any merit, it isn’t tough to comprehend the long streak of “I’m shocked!” responses.

  2. Clicking through to TPM, Marshall goes on to say “And the idea that buying health care coverage does not amount to “economic activity” seems preposterous on its face. ”

    He really doesn’t get it. The idea that not engaging in economic activity actually constitutes economic activity is the preposterous one.

  3. Chris, to date only 3 judges have ruled on the matter. Over 25 state attorneys general have filed suit against ObamaCare so there will likely be many more decisions before all is said and done unless it goes straight to the US Supreme Court before those other cases are settled. Anyway, it’s premature to look at the ruling count after only 3 decisions and make anything significant of it.

    As for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it was meant to require states to abide by the 13th, 14th and 15 amendments which are part of the Constitution. Some argue that doing so violated the states’ rights from the 10th amendment but the courts have ruled the other way.

  4. Chris,

    Do you see a difference between these two statements:

    “You will open a restaurant, and you will serve people regardless of race”

    “If you open a restaurant, you will serve people regardless of race”?

    One requires economic activity, one regulates it. Can you tell which is which?

  5. So there’s no way to consume health care without consuming health insurance? My insurance company isn’t involved everytime I buy thera-flu and miss a day of work. Do you mean catastrophic illness?

    So if your assertion is true, then why was it not true that ERs could refuse care to the uninsured before obamacare?

  6. Chris,

    Arguing with you is typically useless, but lets try this one more time:

    If you CHOOSE to consume healthcare (and some do not, or do not do so whether you care to accept this or not) AS PART OF AN ACT OF COMMERCE, then you are participating in commerce, and an argument might be made for the Commerce Clause.

    If you do NOT choose to consume healthcare as part of an act of commerce (i.e. you do not pay for it, or you treat yourself, or simply do without), then you cannot be compelled to engage in commerce in order to be covered by the Commerce Clause.

    As for your comment regarding emergency rooms (another typical goal-moving exercise on your part), this is a different matter entirely. It is not my fault that your attempt to socialize medicine falls upon the rocks of practicality, it is yours. You cannot guarantee issue without dragging the health into the pool along with the sick, hence you invent an individual mandate to force funding for your little venture.

    Face it dude, jig is up, you lost….

  7. jrman – Nobody’s terribly upset about flu. But you will eventually have a more serious medical need.

    Regarding emergency rooms, in 1986, Congress passed and Reagan signed a law requiring emergency rooms to treat anybody without regard to the ability to pay. Google “patient dumping.”

  8. “Regarding emergency rooms, in 1986, . . .” right, I know this. Which is why I’m asking you to explain to me how this could be true BEFORE the individual mandate, when you have asserted that this is the alternative to the individual mandate.

  9. 1) Scalia upholds federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.


    2) Scalia will uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate.

    Chris, cut back on the arsenic.

  10. jrman – how do we pay for the uninsured using emergency rooms? We either raise taxes (an “emergency room tax”) or come up with some other means for this cost to be paid.

    Curt Thomson – the only constitutional basis for any Federal marijuana law is in the Commerce Clause.

  11. Chris, how do we pay now?

    I’m not arguing whether that’s an issue. I’m asking you to explain how the individual mandate is the only or best way to pay for it. You have asserted that refusal of care is the alternative to the mandate, yet have acknowledge that refusal of care is already avoided. Put another way – how do we pay for those ER cases now without the mandate?

  12. jrman – we overcharge people with insurance. This causes cost to insurers to go up, and premiums to go up, and employers to drop coverage. Nice little death-spiral.

  13. So your solution is to . . . overcharge people for insurance, but with a gun to their heads. All makes perfect sense.

    Now are you claiming that the mandate is the ONLY way or the BEST way to pay for uninsured ER visits?

  14. jrman – the best way is to create a public option. Those who can’t pay are put in it, as well as those who find paying into the option cheaper and/or better than the alternative.

    But I’ve been told the public option is a socialist hell-hole akin to flouridated water, so obviously that’s not on the table.

  15. Chris said:
    jrman – you will consume health care. Sickness is inevitable.

    Healthcare, possibly. But health insurance? Not necessarily. Plenty of people self-insure.

    This is a mandate to buy health insurance. That doesn’t make a mandate to buy healthcare Constitutional, but it’s an important point nonetheless.

    Chris said:
    the best way [to pay for the uninsured using emergency rooms] is to create a public option. Those who can’t pay are put in it

    How will this make them pay if they still can’t pay? Does that even register with you?

    And if they’re still not paying (and the tax dollars for the rest of us are), how on Earth does this lower costs for everyone else? Where are the “savings” coming from that will even pay for the cost of the beaurcracy being created, let alone creating savings for health insurance consumers?

    The answer is: NOWHERE. It doesn’t lower costs. The only way this program lowers costs is by lowering payments to Doctors and rationing care (aka, death panels). Lowering payments to Doctors creates shortages in care (and waiting lists), and rationing is a politician in D.C. deciding your grandmother doesn’t deserve a transplant.

    Chris, there are alternatives to Socialism, but no one on the Left seems to be interested in exploring them. You already “know” the answer, so why ask questions?

    Here are some questions for you:

    1. Why is healthcare so much cheaper in Hawai’i than anywhere else in the country?

    2. Why is healthcare more expensive in the USA than other countries that lack a “public option”? Maybe our high costs are unrelated to the lack of socialism?

    3. Why were most of the major medical advances in the 20th century invented in the USA and not Europe? If we change our regulatory structure, will progress slow or stop? How many people will that kill?

    4. Why did the public options in Mass and Tenn go bankrupt?

    5. Why isn’t Medicaid good enough for a public option? Why wouldn’t simply raising the income ceilings on Medicaid get the same people ObamaCare is supposed to help?

    There are more questions, but that’s a good start.

    Chris said:
    But I’ve been told the public option is a socialist hell-hole

    You’ve never been on a waiting list in Canada, have you?

    Chris said:
    akin to flouridated water

    Actually, flourine displaces iodine in the thyroid gland, slowing the metabolism and inducing heart disease in low but chronic doses doses. Excessive fluoride intake has been observed to be related to decreased brain function and lower I.Q. Many European countries have stopped fluoridating their water supplies, as the benefits of fluoridation proved minimal.

    Flouridated water may seem like “commonly accepted wisdom” in today’s environment, it’s worth remembering that there are consequences to every action.

    True or False: Obesity and heart disease have gotten worse since they started putting Fl in the water.

  16. Brock: unless you’re a millionaire, you’re not “self-insuring.” You’re gambling that you won’t get cancer or some other expensive desease. Your other questions:

    1) Health care cost is NOT cheaper in Hawai’i.
    2) Our health care costs are higher for a variety of factors, including that they are spread over a smaller base. Millions who could pay something (premiums) aren’t.
    3) Most of the major medical advances were not developed in the US. Penicillin was invented in the UK, and sulfa drugs came from Germany.
    4) The public option in Mass. is not bankrupt.
    5) Medicare for all would work. That was apparently too socialistic for Congress.

    I’ve never been on a waiting list in Canada. But if you can’t get treatment for non-emergency conditions, that is an infinite waiting list.

    Obesity and flouridation have no relation. Portion sizes have increased, exercise levels decreased.

    Leland – what, you’re immortal?

  17. 1) Yes, health care IS cheaper in Hawai’i. Look it up.

    Ignorance on the first point – not a good sign.

    2) Our base is bigger than any country other than China or India. Both in the healthcare market and the health insurance market (remember – two different things). Prices should be lower. But the point is you’re speculating. The point is you don’t know. The point is you favor a regulatory response based on faith, rather than proof.

    Which political aisle is “faith based”, again?

    3) Penicillin? Seriously? That was 1928. Try looking at patents, companies, licensing fees, etc. over the course of the 20th century. America crushes the alternatives, and your one or two anecdotes don’t change that.

    4) Yet. It’s driving up costs and driving Mass into either bankruptcy or rationing (you know, the thing Dems promised wouldn’t happen). How’s TennCare doing?

    Let’s face it man, your side can’t get a law passed based on the truth. You have to lie and obfuscate to any support from anyone not a committed Leftist.

    5) At least your honest about the second part. I’m not sure what definition of “work” you’re using though.

    Canada) So which system provides health care for everyone, and meets infinite demand?

    Oh, wait, that’s not actually achievable. Waiting lists and death panels exist. No matter how you paint it, there are no magical solutions.

    What I do know is that when Canadians and British cannot get procedures in their single-payer countries they come to the US or India (where a more free market exists) and their demands are met. No one that I know does the opposite. I think that speaks pretty loudly to which system provides better for its people.

    Obesity & Fluoridation) You are basing that on what science? Or did you pull it out of your ass?

    Portion sizes have increased) Ah, but why? Ever ask that? Or does your imagination stop at what the FDA pronounces?

  18. I have a minor quibble with the ruling, it doesn’t go quite far enough. But as far as it goes it has solid standing.

    I would argue that even if you consume healthcare as commerce, only so far as that commerce is directly interstate in nature may the federal government regulate it under the -Interstate- Commerce Clause. But I understand judges habitually craft rulings for as narrow a precedent as the case before them allows.

  19. In any debate over the constituitonality of any actm isn’t it a given that “Baghdad Chris” Gerrib will inevitablly support the interpretation that will give his gang more power over our lives and wallets?

  20. If the ACA is unconstitutional, so is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. After all, that law mandated economic activity – providing service to people regardless of race.

    Which is exactly what Rand Paul argued on the Rachel Maddow show regarding just one of it’s many provisions.

    The government has no authority to regulate what an individual does with their property even if it’s stupid and racist. We let nazis march in a jewish neighborhood for that very reason. The best disinfectant is light.

    Of course, having no authority is hardly a hindrance for Pelosi, Reid and co.

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