Leahy: No one questions our authority to impose federal insurance mandate

posted at 12:55 pm on October 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Constitution? What Constitution? Patrick Leahy either feigns ignorance or demonstrates it when questioned about the authority for the federal government to mandate the purchase of health insurance. CNS News captures this moment of either forced or natural obtuseness by the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee (via The College Politico on Twitter):

Q: I just want to know where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?

LEAHY: What — we have plenty of authority.  Are you saying there is no authority?

Q: I’m asking –

LEAHY: Why would you say there is no authority?  I mean, there’s no question there’s authority.  Nobody questions that.

Q: But where — I mean, which –

LEAHY: Where do we have authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway?

Q: Well, the states do that.

LEAHY: No, no, the federal government does that.

Well, actually, they don’t set those limits now, although they did in the past.  The answer to that question is that the federal government built the interstate highway system, and that Americans have the option to use them or not.   The government does not make driving on these highways mandatory, nor does it make the purchase of gasoline (which has a federal tax component) mandatory, either.

In fact, plenty of people question whether the Constitution allows the federal government the authority to mandate any kind of purchase.  It gives C0ngress the authority to regulate interstate commerce, but that wouldn’t apply at all — because the federal government blocks the interstate sale of health insurance at the moment.

At least a few people have been asking this question for months.  Apparently, Senator Leahy is a little too busy in his ivory tower to listen.


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Speach = speech

dang PIMF!!

Fatal on October 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

“Stare Decisis” also means Lack of Spine as the “NEW” path of instruction in law school is “RULING BY PRECEDENT”, instead of Enforcement of the Constitution a it should be.

nelsonknows on October 22, 2009 at 2:47 PM

Actually, when I was in law school, the professors joked that Stare Decisis was a way of reinforcing mistakes.

The problem with the Wickard line of Commerce Clause cases is that the original error was so great, so built upon, that changing it now would be nothing short of a judicial revolution.

Overturning that line of cases would be akin to the Court saying to Congress that it does not have the vast allotment of power that it should. The Court does not like taking on Congress on matters of policy; particularly when it percieves the policies as “popular,” and the President as strong. The Court likes to shy away from these issues and hope that everything will work out in the political arena–i.e. that the People will throw out their Congressmen and repeal the legislation.

That said, the modern conservative court has taken on Congressional Commerce Clause overreach before (really, to everyone’s great surprise), in cases like Gonzales. I could see some members of the Court seeing a distinction between the regulation of an economic activity, and a mandate on an individual to participate in an economic activity. It is one thing to regulate the market so that only certain goods be sold, or certain business practices followed, and another thing to force non-willing participants into the market in order to make a purchase.

If the court finds that kind of legislation constitutional, there really will be no limit as to how far Congress in theory could regulate the economic activity of an individual. Rather than merely giving you a ration card, the Government would be able to force you to use your ration. The sentiment makes me queasy, and hopefully it will similiarly effect the court.

After all, said another way, Stare Decisis means that the precedent is followed until its not.

Revenant on October 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

If this passes, what would happen if a class action lawsuit is filed on behalf of the millions who do not want socialized healthcare naming all members of Congress who voted for this violation of the Constitution?

generouse on October 22, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Given our judiciary? It would be thrown out for lack of standing.

progressoverpeace on October 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Chermerinsky isn’t a kook. He’s a respected, if reliably statist-leftist, legal academic. People needn’t be kooks to be wrong.

Centerfire on October 22, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Source: WordNet (r) 1.7

kook
n : someone regarded as eccentric or crazy and standing out from a group [syn: odd fellow, odd fish, queer bird, queer duck, odd man out]

Quite right. He surely travels in a group.

Chris_Balsz on October 22, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Overturning that line of cases would be akin to the Court saying to Congress that it does not have the vast allotment of power that it should

I meant to say “thinks it should,” sorry for the confusion.

Revenant on October 22, 2009 at 3:03 PM

If the court finds that kind of legislation constitutional, there really will be no limit as to how far Congress in theory could regulate the economic activity of an individual. Rather than merely giving you a ration card, the Government would be able to force you to use your ration. The sentiment makes me queasy, and hopefully it will similiarly effect the court.

After all, said another way, Stare Decisis means that the precedent is followed until its not.

Revenant on October 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

I think queasy is the proper word to describe how I feel about this also. That or unsettled.

BadgerHawk on October 22, 2009 at 3:06 PM

I think that Dick Cheney again needs to set Leahy straight on a few facts. Cheney can do this in two words, place optional.

onlineanalyst on October 22, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Please watch this video. Rep Rogers from Michigan hits the nail right on the head. 4 minutes long and worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

milwife88 on October 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

If the court finds that kind of legislation constitutional, there really will be no limit as to how far Congress in theory could regulate the economic activity of an individual. Rather than merely giving you a ration card, the Government would be able to force you to use your ration. The sentiment makes me queasy, and hopefully it will similiarly effect the court.

After all, said another way, Stare Decisis means that the precedent is followed until its not.

Revenant on October 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM

Yep… and then you just have to go back to the Declaration of Independence… to see what “may” very well happen.

It is ALWAYS in a ruling bodies interest to take more power unto itself… and the US Gov has been doing that slowly since we ratified the Constitution.

Our Founders wanted to limit and slow this natural progression as much as possible, and thus the idea of a VERY limited Federal Government was put in place.

But its grown, and we see the Power Grab accelerating.

Question becomes, do we have the Cojones of our Founding Fathers? Who said:

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM

I question the authority.

This is not like auto insurance. You don’t have to operate a car. But you have to operate you body. Cars are property. We are not yet…but we’re getting there.

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

I question the authority.

This is not like auto insurance. You don’t have to operate a car. But you have to operate your body. Cars are property. We are not yet…but we’re getting there.

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

I question the authority.

This is not like auto insurance. You don’t have to operate a car. But you have to operate you body. Cars are property. We are not yet…but we’re getting there.

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Yes, and we are talking about a Government who is attempting to put a Tax, on the very air we breath (Cap and Trade).

Hubris…

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 3:28 PM

The Supreme Court will rule this Marxist Healthcare powergrab an unconstitutional violation of the 10th Amendment. If they should find otherwise the Constitution is dead.

Those telling you otherwise have not read or are deliberately spinning the rationale behind cases such as the Lopez decision which has sought to limit the power of the federal government to use the commerce clause to justify intrusions into every aspect of society.

elduende on October 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM

This is pretty much my reply.

Saltyron on October 22, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Pompous A**.

Susanboo on October 22, 2009 at 3:58 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

milwife88 on October 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Good speech.

sammypants on October 22, 2009 at 4:13 PM

lol caption

Spathi on October 22, 2009 at 4:24 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=G44NCvNDLfc

milwife88 on October 22, 2009 at 3:19 PM

I wish Fox would have this guy on or at least play this speech. He hits the nail on the head about how most of us feel.

If this passes I am just going to cry. It grieves me to see our rights taken away by these self serving bureaucrats.

Susanboo on October 22, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Yeah–if you don’t want to pay Income Tax, you can not have income. If you don’t want pay sales tax, you can avoid the purchase. If you don’t want to pay the Death Tax, you can be a government program and live forever.

But this is the first tax on the individual for existing. They had to pass an amendment to tax income. There is no Constitutional permission for this unless you are interstate commerce. Insert Spitzer joke here.

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 4:28 PM

There is no Constitutional permission for this unless you are interstate commerce

Of course there isn’t, but they’ll do what they always do.

They’ll make up a bunch of complicated crap to tell us that what any reasonable individual with an iota of common sense, will know isn’t true.

But they’ll tell us because they sat through law school for three years, that they know better than we and that will be it.

Never mind that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in plain language so that the people can understand it and live by it.

Our elite lawyer-priest class know better. Just ask Jimbo.

NoDonkey on October 22, 2009 at 4:40 PM

They could fund this through general revenue. But they hate being responsible for tax increases. That’s why this is called a fee or mandate.

In the 70′s, they hid tax increases by calling it “inflation”. The lawyers cut is a hidden tax. And they want a Value Added Tax because it’s hidden.

But there’s a real question if this an individual tax to pay for Health Care or a health care plan designed to get an Individual Tax.

Not to mention all the goodies for unions, lawyers, Planned Parentless, etc.

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 4:50 PM

There is no Constitutional permission for this unless you are interstate commerce

Of course there isn’t, but they’ll do what they always do.
They’ll make up a bunch of complicated crap to tell us that what any reasonable individual with an iota of common sense, will know isn’t true.
But they’ll tell us because they sat through law school for three years, that they know better than we and that will be it.
Never mind that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution in plain language so that the people can understand it and live by it.
Our elite lawyer-priest class know better. Just ask Jimbo.
NoDonkey on October 22, 2009 at 4:40 PM

Or crr6.

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 4:51 PM

If you refuse to buy into one of the plans offered you will be fined and the IRS will be responsible for collecting it.

Sounds like a tax to me. The One promised the middle class no new taxes.

He lied.

FireBlogger on October 22, 2009 at 5:05 PM

LEAHY: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that.

Left unspoken – “…and lives.”

Seriously, the problem is neither half of the bipartisan Party-In-Government has questioned just where Congress gets off being SuperNanny (or is that SuperNinny?).

steveegg on October 22, 2009 at 5:05 PM

I don’t like to post this because it can cause issues, but I am also a lawyer AND a law professor. I would seriously argue that any such universal mandate is unconstitutional and would essentially be nothing more than a modern version of slavery.

So, add me to the DOJ lawyers and quit relying solely on stuff published by the most liberal professors as the most liberal law schools in the nation

P.S. Nothing I post is “legal advice” and no one should take anything I post as being anything other than a personal opinion posted as an exercise of my free speach rights.

Fatal on October 22, 2009 at 2:55 PM

–Fatal, the lawyers who write for the Volokh Conspiracy are conservative or libertarian. I wouldn’t call any of them “the most liberal” in the US to my knowledge. And if you disagree with their conclusions, fine, but explain why. I don’t understand why the prohibition on involuntary servitude or slavery would apply to a situation where you’re not requiring someone to perform work for you. All you’re doing is saying that they have to buy coverage or pay a fine. And especially because there’s a US Supreme Court case that says the Thirteen Amendment doesn’t apply to obligations owed to the government.

P.S. None of my posts here or on any other blog are legal advice either, but I don’t think anyone here thought they were.

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:06 PM

“We don’t respond to thugs”. Yeah, tell Barry that, Leaky.

Saltyron on October 22, 2009 at 5:15 PM

To those of you who call me an idiot or whatever, let me say a few words. Yes, I am obviously in favor of ObamaCare-lite passing. But to say that I’m an idiot 9or traitor or shyster because I’m looking at a line of cases and telling you the likely outcome is like me telling you that you’re an idiot because you’re predicting a Bears/Steelers/49s/Cowboys win or loss given their past record and the team they’re paying on Sunday. You can clearly disagree with me, but all I’m doing here is predicting what should happen based on what’s happened in the past (precedent). That’s different from the role of the lawyers who would write briefs and argue this in front of courts.

More info on how the US Supreme Court has interpreted the Commerce Clause:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause.

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:16 PM

So you don’t give rip sh*t whether it destroys the country or not?

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 5:21 PM

I don’t think it will destroy the country. Medicare and Social Security didn’t, did they?

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

I don’t think it will destroy the country. Medicare and Social Security didn’t, did they?

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Not yet, but they will… as they are unsustainable.

About 1/3 of the National Debt is owed to the Soc Sec Trust fund… which they will have to call in to fund Soc Sec for the Baby Boomers…

Medicare will also go bankrupt very soon….

Add in ANOTHER health care mandate? When we can’t even fund the mandates we’ve already made?

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 5:29 PM

OK, I gotta know. What is happening in the picture on the front? What is the guy with the lipstick doing to Leahy?

It sure looks weird, there’s gotta be a story there.

Dirty Creature on October 22, 2009 at 5:39 PM

“Commerce” is not a forced purchase. It is making a voluntary transaction with a seller for an agreed-upon price.

A forced purchase is “extortion”.

mojo on October 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Thank you.

Jimbo3 :

You had better check your assumptions and hope and pray that all this WON’T destroy the country.

Because someday YOU will have to look back on this and realize YOU HELPED BRING IT ABOUT.

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

In Vermont, even the cows will vote for these Marxists, Vt however, will be left with the cow manure when he leaves.

Don L on October 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Jimbo3 is correct, this will pass and the court will uphold it. Of course it’s unconstitutional, but since when has that mattered? He mentions medicare and social security, both unconstitutional interferences in the personal lives of Americans, and yet no court challenge to either has ever succeeded, and never will.

Get used to it folks, Jimbo3 is now in charge and his ilk will be telling you what to do for the rest of your lives. There is nothing you can do about it because he has the power of the federal govt behind him. He doesn’t care one bit about your freedoms, he thinks you’re too stupid to be free.

He also thinks he will be free to do whatever he likes outside of the law, and in that he is also correct. All he has to do is parrot the “correct” political positions and those in power will let him get away with murder, literally.

Surely I’m not the only one who’s read “atlas shrugged”? I bet ole Jimbo3 has, but he didn’t see it as a warning….he saw it as an instruction manual.

runawayyyy on October 22, 2009 at 5:46 PM

I’m not an attorney, but since half of those guys lose their cases. they don’t know too much either. I suspect the 10th amendment might be in force here, if anyone wanted to use it, but with the leftist court creating laws from emanations from penumbras resulting in 50 million dead Americans, I’m not sure that power isn’t the real issue –which brings us to the 2cd Amendment, doesn’t it?

Don L on October 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Get him, Joker, get him! MAKE HIM SQUIRM! :D

Orange Doorhinge on October 22, 2009 at 5:50 PM

which brings us to the 2cd Amendment, doesn’t it?

Don L on October 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Yes… it does… and to a saying by a “Philosopher” who is a favorite of a couple of Obamaites…

Mao… Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Surely I’m not the only one who’s read “atlas shrugged”? I bet ole Jimbo3 has, but he didn’t see it as a warning….he saw it as an instruction manual.
runawayyyy on October 22, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Yes, I’ve read it, unfortunately it doesn’t give us any practical ideas on how to fight the Statists.

The Statist do need the Achievers and Producers – the businessmen, entrepreneurs, doctors, engineers, innovators,… to keep on working to produce wealth that can be confiscated to buy the votes of the dumbmasses.

They really hold the key as to whether they will contribute to their own enslavement, they need to realize that and use it to take action – sooner, rather than later.

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Get used to it folks, Jimbo3 is now in charge and his ilk will be telling you what to do for the rest of your lives. There is nothing you can do about it because he has the power of the federal govt behind him. He doesn’t care one bit about your freedoms, he thinks you’re too stupid to be free.

He also thinks he will be free to do whatever he likes outside of the law, and in that he is also correct. All he has to do is parrot the “correct” political positions and those in power will let him get away with murder, literally.

—I think you’re giving me just a wee bit (sarc) more power and influence than I really have.

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Yes… it does… and to a saying by a “Philosopher” who is a favorite of a couple of Obamaites…
Mao… Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Puts me in mind of another great philosopher that they probably admire

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.
Joseph Stalin

Can anybody guess what they’re next target will be after the 1st amendment?

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 6:02 PM

Jimbo3 :

You had better check your assumptions and hope and pray that all this WON’T destroy the country.
Because someday YOU will have to look back on this and realize YOU HELPED BRING IT ABOUT.

Did you Understand that question?

Juno77 on October 22, 2009 at 6:04 PM

I was around when the federal government decided that all states must lower the legal speed limit from 70 to 55. The federal government knew it did have the power to make the change themselves, that it was the states right to set it where they wanted, however the federal government held the purse strings and if the states wanted to refuse, they could do so, but there would be no federal dollars sent to them afterwards. The states had no choice but to lower the speed limit. Since then the federal government has kept that stick close at hand and made the states even more dependent on the federal dollars, just in case they need to remind the states who is in control.

Franklyn on October 22, 2009 at 6:08 PM

Yeah!

Who dares question the authority and wisdom of The Central Committee? [/sarc

SuperCool on October 22, 2009 at 6:11 PM

If they can regulate insurance, they can regulate ancillary activities or requirements related to insurance. That would include an individual mandate.

The government could force you to buy toothpaste or to buy drugs. Right now, the federal government prohibits you from purchasing unapproved or illegal drugs in this country and the customs laws (passed by Congress) prohibit you from bringing in certain drugs into this country.

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 1:15 PM

To summarize:
1)The power to regulate x implies the power to compel the purchase of x.

2)The power to prohibit x implies the power to compel the purchase of y.

Your post is not meant to be taken seriously, but is actually a Woody Allen send-up, no?

“All men are mortal. Socrates was mortal. Therefore, all men are Socrates.” Love and Death

Barnestormer on October 22, 2009 at 6:13 PM

I’m sure this will be deleted but the TRUTH needs to be told. The Federal Government needs to be overthrown, even if force is required. The Federal Government is illegitimate, they (both parties) have violated the Constitution and enacted illegal, unconstitutional laws to the amount that the powers granted in the Constitution to all three branches of Government has become null and void and the Federal Government has become nothing but a tyrannical farce.
I’m sure Washington, Madison, Jefferson and the rest are spinning in their graves.

nelsonknows on October 22, 2009 at 6:31 PM

I don’t think it will destroy the country. Medicare and Social Security didn’t, did they?

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

The wounds are still hemorrhaging, the patient is almost out of blood. Doctor Jimbo prescribes, bleeding the patent.

Slowburn on October 22, 2009 at 6:31 PM

If they can pass a bill that mandates insurance, then they can pass anything, and they can make you do anything they want.

True_King on October 22, 2009 at 6:33 PM

I’m sure this will be deleted but the TRUTH needs to be told. The Federal Government needs to be overthrown, even if force is required. The Federal Government is illegitimate, they (both parties) have violated the Constitution and enacted illegal, unconstitutional laws to the amount that the powers granted in the Constitution to all three branches of Government has become null and void and the Federal Government has become nothing but a tyrannical farce.
I’m sure Washington, Madison, Jefferson and the rest are spinning in their graves.

nelsonknows on October 22, 2009 at 6:31 PM

We are not yet there. There are still certain scenarios to play out and peaceful options are on still on the table.

True_King on October 22, 2009 at 6:34 PM

P.S. None of my posts here or on any other blog are legal advice either, but I don’t think anyone here thought they were.

Jimbo3 on October 22, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Lol. It’s still insane, whether established as precedent in previous cases or not, to tax someone merely for existing. No one can escape this tax. You either buy health insurance (a forced exodus of your money) or pay a tax (a forced exodus of your money).

Do you agree that’s what the individual mandate is – a tax for being alive – even if you support it?

BadgerHawk on October 22, 2009 at 6:36 PM

The wounds are still hemorrhaging, the patient is almost out of blood. Doctor Jimbo prescribes, bleeding the patent.

Slowburn on October 22, 2009 at 6:31 PM

well…. we do have plenty of leeches… in Washington…

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Sad to watch a senile old man make a fool of himself.

GarandFan on October 22, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Noel on October 22, 2009 at 3:27 PM
I question the authority.

This is not like auto insurance. You don’t have to operate a car. But you have to operate you body. Cars are property. We are not yet…but we’re getting there.

You can say that again and you did. Bravo, good post.

Johan Klaus on October 22, 2009 at 6:49 PM

SO! YOU ARE FINALLY GETTING DOWN TO THE LAST SUPPER!
The federal government (Obama and his soldiers) are focused on making the states “payback” what D.C. ( read Democrat Committee) has “loaned them”.
Meaning; The payback is with interest!
This is what is taking place with Wall street today. Yo?

Cybergeezer on October 22, 2009 at 6:51 PM

We are not yet there. There are still certain scenarios to play out and peaceful options are on still on the table.

True_King on October 22, 2009 at 6:34 PM

That is for what I am praying.

Johan Klaus on October 22, 2009 at 6:52 PM

No one questions our authority to impose federal insurance mandate

No one except all those Tea Partiers Leahy and the Dems all hate and slander.

No one except the millions opposing recent Enemy Party votes in Congress, who are repeatedly called racist, terrorist, ignorant, stupid, and all other things the Enemy Party has called us since 1981.

Leahy has been listening to Olbie too long.

Bah!

Liam on October 22, 2009 at 6:54 PM

I do.

gbear on October 22, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Mr. Senator?

I–this American–questions not only your authority but also your patriotism. I question your validity as a representative to the Senate of the United States of America.

We on the same page?

I question you as are you are and have shown yourself, in toto. (and, no, I don’t mean that dog from Kansas)

Liam on October 22, 2009 at 7:01 PM

There are still certain scenarios to play out and peaceful options are on still on the table.

True_King on October 22, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Secession is peaceful and legal. Every state has the right to withdraw from the Union if they want, which is why the confederate states were forced to bind themselves to the Union in their state constitutions – which they can just amend and get rid of. On top of that, aside from the legal right of a sovereign state to leave the Union, the state’s judiciary can also rule that the federal government has violated the federal Constitution, is encroaching on the state’s areas of responsibilities and that the federal government has, therefore, rendered the federal Constitution null and void, releasing all from any obligations in it (though staying in the Union is NOT one of those obligations, anyway).

progressoverpeace on October 22, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Uh; Yea; Congress relies on taxpayer assistance; Don’t you know?

Cybergeezer on October 22, 2009 at 7:06 PM

Where does the constitution say exactly we shouldn’t kick all your freakin rear ends out onto the freakin streets??? I don’t see where it says we can’t do that anywhere!

JellyToast on October 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM

If this passes, what would happen if a class action lawsuit is filed on behalf of the millions who do not want socialized healthcare naming all members of Congress who voted for this violation of the Constitution?

generouse on October 22, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Maybe we can learn a lesson from the enviros who file lawsuit after lawsuit to prevent drilling/etc, simply by gumming up the works indefinitely?

Midas on October 22, 2009 at 7:22 PM

as far as speed limits on INTERSTATE highways a case can be made that it falls under the commerce clause for the regulation of interstate trade.

Even if insurance was sold across state lines the fed gov does not have the authority to make people buy it. It only has the authority to regulate the sellers not the buyers

unseen on October 22, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Maybe we can learn a lesson from the enviros who file lawsuit after lawsuit to prevent drilling/etc, simply by gumming up the works indefinitely?

Midas on October 22, 2009 at 7:22 PM

yes it is time to fight fire with fire

unseen on October 22, 2009 at 7:26 PM

progressoverpeace on October 22, 2009 at 7:04 PM

thats actualy one of the scenarios I see playing out.

If the Federal Government breaks the Covenent, called the Constitution, why should the States be held to their end of the contract…

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Something’s going to give. We are just committed to that trajectory. Arizona had only failed to pass Prop 101 by .4% back in 2008 (rendering it illegal for the federal government to force any health care/insurance on the state residents) and that was before The Precedent and his insanity took over. Either monetary considerations, health care, insane regulation on industry, or something with illegals is going to force some states to break away, and once one seriously considers going (publicly) other states are going to rush in and join the movement. The collapse could be quite fast, once the first cracks form.

The leftists are forcing this on us, since they are trying to nationalize everything (forgetting that we have a federal government, not a national one) and force everyone to convert to their political religion. They can easily live with us conservatives in charge, since we give them the freedom of federalism to do whatever they want in their states, but they try to force everyone to follow the same, national line. There is no bending in that position. Just a break. And this nation will break.

progressoverpeace on October 22, 2009 at 7:35 PM

as far as speed limits on INTERSTATE highways a case can be made that it falls under the commerce clause for the regulation of interstate trade.

Even if insurance was sold across state lines the fed gov does not have the authority to make people buy it. It only has the authority to regulate the sellers not the buyers

unseen on October 22, 2009 at 7:25 PM

Yep…. Interstate Commerce…. you should have to slow down to 55 MPH to cross the State Border….

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 7:36 PM

Is the Vermont secession movement still active? You know, the ones who think the country isn’t liberal enough? I could send in a donation.

Red Cloud on October 22, 2009 at 7:40 PM

addtional pts on the speedlimit think. Congress got around the consitution on that by threatening to withhold highway funds if the states did not lower the speedlimit to 55.

they did the same with the age limit on beer/wine etc by threatening the states with withholding of funds if the states did not increas ethe drinking age to 21. They had no consitutional right to tell the states what the drinking age should be.

they are doing the same with state seatbelt laws.

unseen on October 22, 2009 at 7:46 PM

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 7:36 PM

not saying i agree with it. just a case can be made. with the insurance mandate no case can be made under the consitution.

unseen on October 22, 2009 at 7:47 PM

If you think no one questions “your authority”, we know you haven’t been listening. Therefore, WE think it’s time for you to go home, where you belong, and live off of your fat government retirement with your cadillac health coverage.

Guess what, elected officials? YOU DO HAVE TERM LIMITS! You’ve HAD THEM ALL ALONG! But we quit paying attention many years ago. And so you took advantage of our inattention. Well. Now we are paying attention. We’ve decided we don’t like you very much. Your TERM is about to end because we’ve reached our LIMITS. Your TERM LIMIT is our VOTE that boots you from your cushy job in the fantasy-land of spending other people’s money. You will no longer receive that precious commodity. My wish for you, dear and deaf elected officials, is that those of you who would damn US to servitude to the government would experience it as well. The closest we can get is sending your chaps back home. ADIOS, MOFO!

Now, where is that brownie?

Yellowdog12 on October 22, 2009 at 7:49 PM

You either buy health insurance (a forced exodus of your money) or pay a tax (a forced exodus of your money).

Even if the Court accepted the tenuous rationale that nobody has a stated freedom not to be ordered to buy services from for-profit corporations…the measure is open to challenge on 4th and 8th Amendment grounds, and I think the Court would have to agree the Congress cannot declare citizens have the burden to exhaust administrative remedies and win a civil suit, to avoid a punitive fine. And there is a longer history of case law against administrative punishment of citizens than in support of open-ended commerce powers.

Chris_Balsz on October 22, 2009 at 8:21 PM

The answer to that question is that the federal government built the interstate highway system, and that Americans have the option to use them or not.

You’re wrong, Ed. The Federal Government made the receipt of certain Federal Highway Funds dependent upon the States having and enforcing certain speed limits. But the Federal Government did not, and could not, create an actual National Speed Limit.

So Leahy’s “answer” is an utter fail.

Greg Q on October 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Greg Q on October 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

Hmmm… and do not the Interstate Highway funds actualy get spent by the States themselves? ie, the Fed gives the states the funds and tells them what to spend them on… but it IS the States who spend the money…

Thus, the STATES built them… the Feds just paid for it…

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 9:27 PM

Since all laws passed are enforced as constitutional until such time as the courts deem otherwise, ObamaCare would be legal by definition, constitutional or not. In a conversation with my congressman’s staff he doesn’t seem to believe that he has the responsibility to determine the constitutionality of a law when he votes even thought he took an oath to do so. Another congressman told a friend that this law’s approval will not be determined by its lack of constitutionality. I you don’t believe me, check out President Wilson’s Sedition Act that was used to prosecute people for criticizing government and the SCOTUS initially declared it was constitutional when challenged.

Our citizens need to emulate the Tennessee Tax Revolt but go a bit further; surround OUR Capitol and shutdown OUR two Houses until OUR employees pledge to do what we, the majority, want; stop spending and taxing and abandon unconstitutional mandates against American citizens. We would need a second DC TEA Party and then a real but peaceful march on OUR Capitol and occupation of OUR property. Of course the government could resort to the violent tactics used against the Bonus Army encamped on the Mall in 1932, but then we would know the real intent of our government.

amr on October 22, 2009 at 10:09 PM

At least the “company store” pretended you had a choice. Weren’t the Dems supposed to be the party of the “little guy?”

Blacksmith on October 22, 2009 at 10:11 PM

amr on October 22, 2009 at 10:09 PM

Origionaly the Senate were the direct representatives of the States… but they changed that in the early 1900s… just one of the mistakes we made in changing a very well balanced origional document…

We have allowed the Federal Government to determine its own Powers for much too long. We trust it, through seperation of powers, to police itself… but… EVERY Government every will always try to gain more power for itself, its in the nature of Government.

Its time for the people to trim back the Power of the Fed… may be done by the States… may be done by the people, but it must happen or we are doomed to be ruled by a tyranical Federal Government.

Romeo13 on October 22, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Surrounding them won’t work, they have a subway. I’m thinking ‘a penny for the Guy‘…

docjohn52 on October 22, 2009 at 10:24 PM

VEEEE HAFF VAYS!!

bannedbyhuffpo on October 22, 2009 at 10:48 PM

There’s a saying that Republicans run for President, but Democrats run for King.

Obviously they consider themselves royalty and us as their subjects.

schmuck281 on October 23, 2009 at 12:03 AM

Government of the people, by the people and for the people?

The Constitution? Quite surprized Leahy failed to mention HE WON THE NOBEL PRIZE!!!! We must obey.

So Leahy’s “answer” is an utter failure.

Greg Q on October 22, 2009 at 8:30 PM

dthorny on October 23, 2009 at 1:27 AM

Is it just me or does anybody else get an irrestible urge to slap this SOB Leahy every time they see them?

NavyMustang on October 23, 2009 at 3:14 AM

Is it just me or does anybody else get an irrestible urge to slap this SOB Leahy every time they see them him?

NavyMustang on October 23, 2009 at 3:14 AM

Anyone remember the pompous Leahy pretending that he and Don Henley were best buds during a Judiciary hearing on music royalties in 2001??

Leahy is such a jerk. I have zero respect for Vermont voters.

TERM LIMITS!!!

fred5678 on October 23, 2009 at 3:22 AM

Why so serious?

powerpro on October 23, 2009 at 8:21 AM

nelsonknows on October 22, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Advocating the violent overthrow of the government is a crime.

VekTor on October 23, 2009 at 5:35 PM

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