I’ll Gladly Take The Constitution Over Precedent

The LA Times gloats that precedent is against the states seeking to protect their sovereignty in the face of Obamacare unconstitutional onslaught.

Reporting from Washington – Lawsuits from 14 states challenging the constitutionality of the new national healthcare law face an uphill battle, largely due to a far-reaching Supreme Court ruling in 2005 that upheld federal restrictions on home-grown marijuana in California.

At issue in that case — just like in the upcoming challenges to the healthcare overhaul — was the reach of the federal government’s power.

…They said the Constitution gave Congress nearly unlimited power to regulate the marketplace as part of its authority “to regulate commerce.”

…The decision throws up a significant hurdle for the lawsuit filed last week in federal court by 13 state attorneys — all but one a Republican. The Virginia attorney general filed a similar, but separate suit.

The article later got more ridiculous: “While the Bill of Rights put clear limits on the government’s power to interfere with an individual’s freedom of speech or free exercise of religion, the Constitution does not put clear limits on Congress’ power.”

Bull.

The Constitution puts quite clear limitations on the power of Congress. It gives Congress specific and enumerated powers, and anything else is off limits.:  It can’t get any clearer.:  That the courts, at the behest of Progressives who fundamentally don’t like the Constitution, have got it wrong for 80 years doesn’t change this.

Even after the horribly decided Raich case, there’s still no clear precedent showing that Congress has the authority to force purchase of a good.:  If they have such a power, then they have all powers and we’re no longer living in a Constitutional Republic.

Given the courts’ sorry history in the defense of liberty and constitutionality, I’m hardly holding my breath on these challenges.:  But to say that there is any precedent to support what this bill does is simply false.:  Even for a government with a history of overreaching, this is something new.

Still, maybe the states don’t have precedent on their side, but they have something better: the Constitution.

Cross-posted at Conservative Compendium.

Brian Garst

Brian Garst is the Director of Government Affairs for the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a non-profit think tank dedicated to preserving tax competition and free markets. He also blogs at BrianGarst.com.

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