Thursday, June 28, 2012

Looking for a Silver-Lining: A Victory For Limited Government (maybe)

ObamaCare is constitutional because it's really a tax! The Supreme Court doesn't care what Obama said at the time or what the solicitor general said during oral arguments, they just read the text of the law (unlike most of the congressmen who voted for it) and decided they'd better find a way to let it stand.

So Chief Justice Roberts is like the basketball ref who doesn't want to call a potentially game-changing foul late in the fourth quarter. "Let 'em play!" Well, I don't like the decision, but in the long run, it's better to settle this politically rather than in the courts.

Rand Simberg writes:

> The bill was allowed to stand only because Justice Roberts declared that it passed constitutional muster under the Congress’s ability to tax (presumably under Article I, Section 8), and that while it had been fraudulently passed (that’s why the president had to lie about it being a tax — he knew that if he admitted it, he would not only lose whatever “moderate” support he had for it, but that he would be going back on his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class), that didn’t make it unconstitutional. Here is a key phrase from his opinion: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

> The nation made a terrible political choice in 2008. It started to fix it in 2010, largely driven by this monstrosity. We have another chance in November to fix it once and for all, with a new president and Senate, and I suspect that’s going to happen. But going forward, future courts will recognize that the Commerce Clause is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for any tyrannical thing that the federal government chooses to do. If we want to continue to rein it in, an amendment of the taxing clause might be useful going forward.

> People have been asking in comments which house this bill originated in. I thought that it was the House, but apparently the original House bill isn’t the one that finally passed — the one that the court just ruled on originated in the Senate. This opens up an entirely new line of legal attack, because any revenue bill must originate in the House. No one had bothered to make this argument in the past, because no one had considered the mandate a tax. But now that the court has declared it to be so, it could be struck down as unconstitutional because of the process.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

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