The Supreme Court Weighs ObamaCare — David B. Rivkin, Lee A. Casey, Wall Street Journal
The authors are the two lawyers who represented the 26 states in their challenge to ObamaCare before trial and appellate Courts. As the Supreme Court wraps up its extraordinary 3 days of arguments on ObamaCare, what is at stake is more clear than ever: in the author’s words: “the Constitution’s structural guarantees of individual liberty, which limit governmental power and ensure political accountability by dividing that power between federal and state authorities. Upholding ObamaCare would destroy this dual-sovereignty system, the most distinctive feature of American constitutionalism.”
They conclude their article by pointing out if ObamaCare is found Constitutional, then the Federal government has the power to rule us a subjects. Under ObamaCare, we must do the bidding of the governing elite as a condition of being a lawful resident, thus inverting the relationship between the government and the people.
“Americans cannot escape the individual mandate by any means because it regulates them as people, simply because they are alive and here. That requires police power authority. Permitting Congress to exercise that authority—however important its ultimate goal—is not constitutionally proper and would forever warp the federal-state division of authority.” Read entire article
The Supreme Court today began listening to three days of arguments with regards to the Constitutionality of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The Wall Street Journal editorial provides a précis on the political, historical, and future implications of this historic case.
Liberty and ObamaCare — Editorial Page, The Wall Street Journal
“Few legal cases in the modern era are as consequential, or as defining, as the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that the Supreme Court hears beginning Monday. The powers that the Obama Administration is claiming change the structure of the American government as it has existed for 225 years. Thus has the health-care law provoked an unprecedented and unnecessary constitutional showdown that endangers individual liberty.
“It is a remarkable moment. The High Court has scheduled the longest oral arguments in nearly a half-century: five and a half hours, spread over three days. Yet Democrats, the liberal legal establishment and the press corps spent most of 2010 and 2011 deriding the government of limited and enumerated powers of Article I as a quaint artifact of the 18th century. Now even President Obama and his staff seem to grasp their constitutional gamble.”
“The constitutional questions the Affordable Care Act poses are great, novel and grave, as much today as they were when they were first posed in an op-ed on these pages by the Washington lawyers David Rivkin and Lee Casey on September 18, 2009. The appellate circuits are split, as are legal experts of all interpretative persuasions.
“The Obama Administration and its allies are already planning to attack the Court’s credibility and legitimacy if it overturns the Affordable Care Act. They will claim it is a purely political decision, but this should not sway the Justices any more than should the law’s unpopularity with the public.
“The stakes are much larger than one law or one President. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Supreme Court’s answers may constitute a hinge in the history of American liberty and limited and enumerated government. The Justices must decide if those principles still mean something.” Read entire article
As Progressives and many in the media complain about gridlock, Carla Garrison of the Washington Times reminds us the Founders took into account the power motive that animates those who seek government office and purposely created a system of checks and balances that make it so difficult to get things done in Washington.
Utopias, rights, freedom, and big government — Carla Garrison, Washington Times
WASHINGTON, March 17, 2012 —The debate over the size and role of government is about to reach a crescendo in America. The arguments are not new or unique to this country. They are the same ones that led to the American Revolution and at root every revolution. Deciding where you stand is important to our future.
The American formula is unique: big society, small government.
The formula that led to the only real free country to ever exist, hinges on checks and balances distributed among three branches of government with regularly elected representation of the people by the people. The technical form is constitutional republic. James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, explained in Federalist #51 that only this structure could preserve a free society because human nature will not change. By nature, humans are both bad and good. People that are smart enough to run government will inherently be ambitious. Ambition leads to power seeking.
Madison said, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place.” It is through the constitutionally created checks and balances and relative autonomy of each branch that ambition counteracts ambition.
“It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself,” Madison explained.
What is the role of government?
by Richard Callahan
In the balance, our liberty and President Obama’s liberal vision of the future of America
A significant milestone will occur beginning the 26th of March which will have a major impact on the economy, political climate and governmental powers for the United States. On that date the Supreme Court of the land will commence hearings on the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature health initiative the Affordable Health Care Act, commonly known as Obamacre.
Beginning on that date the court will hear attorneys present their arguments on the constitutionality of the act with a final decision expected in June. The high court could uphold the entire law, strike down it’s controversial central requirement that forces most Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay stiff penalties, let stand or void major expansion of Medicaid, or defer any decision on the matter until 2015. Keep reading »
Geithner and the ‘Privilege’ of Being American — Lawrence Lindsay, Wall Street Journal
“Last week Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that the “most fortunate Americans” should pay more in taxes for the “privilege of being an American.” One can debate different ways of balancing the budget. But Mr. Geithner’s argument highlights an unfortunate and very destructive instinct that seems to permeate the Obama administration about the respective roles of citizens and their government. His position has three problems: one philosophical, one empirical, and one logical.” Read More
“…Where does it say that the president can unilaterally order a private company to provide an allegedly free-standing service at no cost to certain select beneficiaries?
This is government by presidential fiat. In Venezuela, that’s done all the time. Perhaps we should we call Obama’s “accommodation” Presidential Decree No. 1.
Consider the constitutional wreckage left by Obamacare:
1) The assault on the free exercise of religiou
2) The assault on free enterprise
3) The assault on individual autonomy
This constitutional trifecta -the state invading the autonomy of religious institutions, private companies and the individual citizen -should not surprise. It is what happens when the state takes over one-sixth of the economy.
“The birth-control coverage mandate (issued by the Obama Administration) violates the First Amendment’s bar against the “free exercise” of religion. But it also violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That statute, passed unanimously by the House of Representatives and by a 97-3 vote in the Senate, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. It was enacted in response to a 1990 Supreme Court opinion, Employment Division v. Smith.”
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent.” Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis
In one of the boldest, most audacious moves ever made by a President of the United States, President Barack Obama is on the brink of successfully rendering moot the very first clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (emphasis added). If he forces the Catholic Church to comply with the Health and Human Services ruling to provide its employees with insurance that covers activities the Church has long held sinful — abortion via the morning after pill, sterilization and contraceptives — then the precedent is clear: when religious beliefs conflict with government decrees, religion must yield.
The fundamental question is whether the Catholic Church, and by extension, individual Americans have to engage in activities according to the rulings of this and future Presidents, or are we free to live our lives as we choose as long as we do not harm another. Are we free to engage in long standing religious practices that have never before been deemed unlawful, or has the federal government established a de facto state “religion” that it is prepared to enforce through the full coercive power of its financial resources and the imposition of financial penalties.
The Paradox of Rights ‘Granted’ Us by Government — Lawrence Hunter, Forbes.com
Americans have been taught to think of the U.S. Constitution as a rule, actually a set of rules—the fundamental rule-set for organizing and regulating the national government of the United States of America and protecting certain individual rights delineated in the Constitution from undue encroachment by government. That understanding is upside down and backwards.
The Constitution is not the rule; it is the exception (set of exceptions) that proves the fundamental, unwritten, general rule, to wit: “Anything not proscribed is permitted.” This unwritten rule of natural rights—derived from natural-law theory dating back to Plato, elaborated during the 17th century by John Locke and expounded upon by the Founding Fathers—predates the Constitution, and it is the only legitimate framework in which the Constitution can properly be understood, interpreted and implemented.
The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, if signed into law, will signal the death knell of our constitutional republic and the formal inception of a legalized police state in the United States. Passed by the House on May 26, 2011 (HR 1540), the Senate version (S. 1867) was passed on Dec. 1, 2011. Now only one man — Barack Obama, a scholar of constitutional law — will make the decision as to whether the Bill of Rights he went to Harvard to study will be superceded by a law that abrogates it.