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November 14th, 2011 12:28 pm
Showdown 2012: Supreme Court Accepts ObamaCare Challenge
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As we anticipated in last week’s Liberty Update, the U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear legal challenges to ObamaCare this term.  As we also noted in that commentary, the issue broadly boils down to whether an explicit provision of the Constitution will be rendered meaningless and effectively read out of the document itself.

That is not hyperbole.  Our Founding Fathers didn’t randomly insert provisions into the Constitution for no reason whatsoever.  Rather, they crafted that document to design a federal government of limited, enumerated powers and to safeguard individual freedom to the greatest extent possible.  Accordingly, they intentionally included the Commerce Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to empower Congress “To regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”  ObamaCare, however, does not merely “regulate commerce among the several states.”  Rather, it compels commercial activity from every citizen, and punishes inactivity on the part of any individual.

Anyone asserting ObamaCare’s validity must therefore answer this question:  If the Commerce Clause somehow permits forced commercial activity and prosecution of inactivity, what possible hypothetical federal mandate would it not permit?  Such a result would void a specific clause within the text of the Constitution because no limiting principle would remain.  That, in turn, would mean that no other provision remains safe in such a brave new world.

Hopefully, at least five Justices respect the Constitution enough to not remove yet another thread from its fabric.  Should the Court fail, however, the fight will not be finished.  The job will simply fall upon us as individual citizens to effectuate the individual freedoms that too few elected and appointed officials seem to respect.

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