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Old 03-26-2010, 07:03 PM
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Default States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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A 2005 Supreme Court ruling citing the authority to regulate commerce poses a problem for suits claiming it's unconstitutional for the federal government to force individuals to have insurance.

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.

Conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Anthony M. Kennedy joined a 6-3 ruling that said Congress could regulate marijuana that was neither bought nor sold on the market but rather grown at home legally for sick patients.

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

Even "non-economic local activity" can come under federal regulation if it is "a necessary part of a more general regulation of interstate commerce," Scalia wrote.

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 suits claim that the federal government has no right to force individuals to have health insurance -- a central provision of the new healthcare law.

"By imposing such a mandate, the act exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution," according to the suit from the 13 states.

But this week, Obama administration lawyers pointed to Scalia's opinion as supporting the constitutionality of broad federal regulation of health insurance, and most legal experts agreed.

In the healthcare legislation, signed by the president Tuesday, Congress required virtually all Americans to have health insurance beginning in 2014. Those who fail to do so could be assessed a tax penalty of up to $750 per year.

Legislators argued that the "individual mandate" was necessary because it would undercut the insurance market if individuals could just opt out of having health insurance. Free-loaders could wait until they were hurt in an accident or contracted a disease and then demand insurance coverage for their "pre-existing condition."

The court's ruling in the 2005 case, Gonzales vs. Raich, "is an enormous problem" for those who contend the healthcare mandate is unconstitutional, said Simon Lazarus, a lawyer for the Washington, D.C.-based National Senior Citizens Law Center.

"It clearly says Congress has vast regulatory authority over interstate commerce," he said.

David B. Rivkin, a Washington lawyer who is representing the 13 states, said the legal challenge rests on the principle that the federal government has limited powers.

"It is a matter of fundamental principle in the Constitution," he said. "Ours is a government of limited and enumerated powers. And there has to be a limit."

He also argued that the Constitution did not permit Congress to regulate health insurance, which has been traditionally under state control.

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.

Article I says, "Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes . . . [to] provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States . . . [and] to regulate commerce."

Since the New Deal era of the 1930s, the Supreme Court has repeatedly said that the federal government can regulate almost anything that involves economic or commercial activity.

Several constitutional law experts said this week that it is somewhere between unlikely and hard-to-imagine that the Supreme Court would strike down the new healthcare law.

States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side - latimes.com
These "challenges" will make great theater and campaign rhetoric but that's about all.I doubt that even a conservative court would strike down the new healtcare law.They know and understand the ramifications involved with such a decision.

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Old 03-26-2010, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

Show me the ruling that establishes precedent for the Federal Government to have the authority to compel a citizen to purchase something from a private enterprise.

In order for this to work such a power has to be presented as a tax & even those who drafted the bill insist that it is not a tax.



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Old 03-26-2010, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

I too look forward to seeing this case go before the court but I doubt it will even be granted cert.

Time will tell....
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

Way back when the founding documents were written, the term "to regulate" meant "to make things regular", not to write regulations about how things should happen.
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Old 03-26-2010, 10:31 PM
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Post Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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Originally Posted by Pat View Post
Way back when the founding documents were written, the term "to regulate" meant "to make things regular", not to write regulations about how things should happen.


Two clauses later in the constitution...
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
Are you telling me that the founding fathers were supposedly talking about "making the value of money regular" ???



And let's look at the clause in question...
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...
So you're saying the constitution was just to say that commerce between the states should be "regular"???
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side



These "challenges" will make great theater and campaign rhetoric but that's about all.I doubt that even a conservative court would strike down the new healtcare law.They know and understand the ramifications involved with such a decision.

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Meanwhile Butch Otter, Idaho's governor will pocket corporate or tax money--while making us suffer the consequences of a long legal battle.
Also there is a separation of powers problem here since himself, the state attny general and the legislature got together to decide to do this law suite.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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Meanwhile Butch Otter, Idaho's governor will pocket corporate or tax money--while making us suffer the consequences of a long legal battle.
Also there is a separation of powers problem here since himself, the state attny general and the legislature got together to decide to do this law suite.
Yup..13 states and perhaps as many as 24 states are doing the same and many believe that ultimately it will be a costly diversion that in the end will fail.The up side is that it may give them some campaign traction but it could also work against them...
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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Originally Posted by Spencer Collins View Post
Yup..13 states and perhaps as many as 24 states are doing the same and many believe that ultimately it will be a costly diversion that in the end will fail.The up side is that it may give them some campaign traction but it could also work against them...
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The Common Interest does not endorse candidates, but Keith endorses The Common Interest as a way to govern on behalf of all citizens.



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Old 03-27-2010, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

Go back to post #2.

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Old 03-27-2010, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: States fighting healthcare law don't have precedent on their side

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Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post


Two clauses later in the constitution...
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
Are you telling me that the founding fathers were supposedly talking about "making the value of money regular" ???
Indeed, they couldn't very well have individual states deciding the value of money when trading with foreign countries, could they? the value of money needed to be regular, not variable between the states.


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Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post
And let's look at the clause in question...
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states...
So you're saying the constitution was just to say that commerce between the states should be "regular"???
That's exactly what they meant. They knew that "regular" or consistent trade between the states was necessary for continued survival of the states.
The meaning of the term has evolved over time and it is now being used for things never intended.
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