Video: Could the feds require Americans to purchase GM cars?
posted at 8:41 pm on March 29, 2010 by Allahpundit
A fun new entry in CNS News’s “let’s ask Congress an uncomfortable question about ObamaCare” series. I’m not losing any sleep over the GM scenario and neither is Burgess (I think), but it’s a tasty hypothetical given the left’s basically correct assertion that Commerce Clause jurisprudence lets them do anything their hearts desire. Any legal eagles care to weigh in? If it’s constitutional to impose an insurance mandate, i.e. “you must purchase a product from this industry,” why would it be unconstitutional to refine that to “you must purchase our product from this industry”? In fact, assuming that the feds gave you a choice between not buying a car at all and having to buy GM if you did choose to buy one, the GM hypothetical would operate more like auto-insurance laws — which are, of course, fully constitutional — than the true mandate that’s found in ObamaCare. There’s no question, either, that the feds can monopolize certain industries, although in the past I believe it’s taken a specific constitutional grant of authority to enable that. What we’re talking about here is a free-floating monopoly power under the Commerce Clause. If the car hypothetical is too goofy for you, instead try, let’s say, education. Anything stopping the feds from saying, “You’re using our product from now on”? My poli sci is rusty, but nothing springs to mind.