MN AG will file briefs defending the federal mandate in ObamaCare

posted at 1:53 pm on April 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

While more than a dozen state Attorneys General plan to challenge the individual mandate of ObamaCare in court, Minnesota’s Lori Swanson has a different idea.  She plans to defend the expansion of federal power by filing amicus briefs on behalf of the Obama administration.  This puts the Minnesota Attorney General on a collision course with Governor Tim Pawlenty, who pledged to find another way to fight the mandate:

Minnesota’s Republican governor and Democratic attorney general are locked in a clash of wills over the national health reforms that have sparked political confrontations across the country.

On Monday, Attorney General Lori Swanson responded to Pawlenty’s request that she consider having Minnesota join other states in suing the federal government. Swanson not only declined, but informed Pawlenty that she will file a friend-of-the-court brief defending the new health care law.

She pointed out in her letter to him that Pawlenty can always file his own friend-of-the-court brief to side with the states fighting the law.

That prompted this response from Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung: “Governor Pawlenty intends to participate in this litigation.” He refused to comment on whether the governor would file a friend-of-the-court brief supporting lawsuits filed by other states, hire his own lawyer or participate in some other way. “We are going to consider our options,” McClung said in an e-mail.

Swanson, a Democrat (DFL in Minnesota), argues in a letter to Pawlenty that Congress has wide latitude to control interstate commerce.  That is true, but it is equally true that there is no interstate commerce in health insurance; Congress has blocked it.  What Congress proposes to do with ObamaCare is to control intrastate non-commerce — specifically, the choice of consumers not to carry health insurance, or at least not the “approved” version based on standards imposed by Congress.

In order to support this position, Swanson notes that Congress created Medicare and Medicaid, and that should act as precedent.  This is not a new argument; Democrats in Congress offered it during the health-care debate, mainly last summer.  It fails on its face.  Neither program mandates membership.  In fact, one of the big issues of the uninsured is that millions of them already qualify for Medicaid but haven’t enrolled.  However, the creation of Medicare has successfully crowded out private insurance for seniors, leaving them with few options other than government largesse.

Swanson has to stand for re-election in November after a single term in office.  Pawlenty won’t let this drop in the meantime, which will mean that Swanson may largely have to campaign on her choice to enable federal encroachment and the imposition of the IRS as the enforcer of a health-insurance mandate on taxpayers.  Even in a state as liberal as Minnesota, that’s going to be a tough sale.


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This could work to Pawlenty’s advantage, giving him a large soapbox to stand on ahead of a 2012 run.

irishspy on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Um… why would a state AG endeavor to spend any time/effort/money in support of a new federal program?

Does she work for the state or the fed?

I hope Pawlenty plans to ensure that she does this *on her own personal time*.

Midas on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Democrats are funny.

uknowmorethanme on April 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Speaks to me as saying “we’d love to be willing subjects of the federal government. What’s sovereignty?

Meric1837 on April 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

I look forward to Patriots, with a capital P, standing up for what Minnesota wants and standing against the AG–who is apparently acting as a member of the administration by proxy. The AG should be warned and reminded as to who helped place her in her office can be the same ones who take her out of it.

go Minnesota, get to work.

ted c on April 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

If the government can force you to buy something, it has the precedent to force you to buy anything.

I don’t buy it.

profitsbeard on April 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM

This could work to Pawlenty’s advantage, giving him a large soapbox to stand on ahead of a 2012 run.

irishspy on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

It certainly puts him in a better position than Romney. There’s just one small problem at the end of the day. He’s still Tim Pawlenty. No one gives a rat’s you-know-what about him.

As for Swanson, I’ll give her props for sticking her neck out and publicly defending Obamacare. But it’s electoral suicide.

Doughboy on April 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Is the state going to fund this gals brief for this bill? If so, can the state hold funds to her?
L

letget on April 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM

T-Paw should go the Sonny Perdue route.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM

DFL=Dumb F’ing Libtard

OmahaConservative on April 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Democrats: Always spending OPM

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM

I’d like to force the MN AG to buy a clue.

ted c on April 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM

She’s a useful idiot, a time waster, and a twit.

HomeoftheBrave on April 6, 2010 at 2:03 PM

Swanson is a leftist jerk. She supported a “predatory lending” bill in Minnesota a few years ago that was written by SCORN and vetoed by Gov. Pawlenty. She is big pals with other leftist AGs like Tom Miller and Jerry Brown. She basically never met a government intervention she didn’t like.

She isn’t very smart either. I saw her try to debate once with Sheila Bair and it was hilarious.

rockmom on April 6, 2010 at 2:05 PM

MN, the home of US Senator Al Franken and Nutwitcz Ventura. I have no hope for them.

Mr. Arrogant on April 6, 2010 at 2:05 PM

The AG of Minnesota is wasting the time, money, and resources of the state defending a federal law?

Throw this twit out on her a**.

portlandon on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Doesn’t this woman have to take roders from the gov?
Yet another reason to flee MN.
Don’t come here liberal Minnesotans.
There are enough of you here in ND & we are tired of you.
Go back home & wallow in the cesspool of your making.

Badger40 on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Woops, that should have read “written by ACORN”.

rockmom on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Even in a state as liberal as Minnesota, that’s going to be a tough sale.

A state that votes for Stuart Smalley will swallow anything. Swanson is a shoe-in for reelection.

SKYFOX on April 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Every time I think NE Ohio is nuts …

OhioCoastie on April 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

lets see how they try and defend this not being political. When an AG wants to fight an unjust law, and has the the constitution on their side, you can see how its in favor of protecting the citizens of the state.

But when an AG just goes out and tries to waste time to cheerlead a President then there needs to be tons of Red Flags going up

Rbastid on April 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

This woman is a useless tool. Who is paying her to rebuke her Governor with such fervor?
MN, CA, NY, VT, PA. Toss a coin

FireBlogger on April 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Swanson is a hack’s hack.

RBMN on April 6, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Maybe she’s angling for a 2 year job in the 0bama administration.

JoeySlippers on April 6, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Democrats are funny.

uknowmorethanme on April 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM

Oh yeah. Hysterical. Regular comedians they are. I mean laugh-a-minute.

JusDreamin on April 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Good job, Minnesota. Keep f’ing that chicken.

Enoxo on April 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Can I ask what the hell is up with Minnesota? Are Minnesotans that enamored with being on the dole?

darwin on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

The AG of Minnesota is wasting the time, money, and resources of the state defending a federal law?

Throw this twit out on her a**.

portlandon on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Funny, the Commissioners of our county decided last night to support the Texas AG’s fight against Obamacare. I emaild them asking why they were willing to waste the taxpayers’ money in Texas against a lawsuit that they seem very likely to lose, and if the GOP was going to reimburse Texas for its legal costs if the Texas AG’s suit failed. No response yet from them (and probably never).

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

The governor of Michigan said her AG can’t join in the opposition, without her say so…and she does NOT give it.

Can Pawlenty not do the same with the AG for Minnesota? I’m not up on state laws from state, to state.

capejasmine on April 6, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Can I ask what the hell is up with Minnesota? Are Minnesotans that enamored with being on the dole?

darwin on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

It’s the tradition, Scandinavian in origin, of “Prairie Socialism”. It exists throughout the upper Mid-West. It’s annoying as all get-out.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:14 PM

This job description will self-destruct in 10 seconds…

DrSteve on April 6, 2010 at 2:14 PM

You’ve gotta hand it to these Dems…..they can’t help but show their true colors if given the chance.

search4truth on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

I fail to see how this dame defends the State of Minnesota (her job, I thought) when she wants to go out of her way to weaken states’ rights in favor of federal mandates.

Edouard on April 6, 2010 at 2:15 PM

OK….GOP…..dig the dirt on this AG…
OK… Tea Party stand on her lawn….
OK….Pawlenty let’s see what you got……

nondhimmie on April 6, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Lori Swanson has a different idea

“that Barack Obama, mmm…mmm…mmm”

dmann on April 6, 2010 at 2:16 PM

MN AG:

I, for one, welcome our new health care overlords.

Joe Caps on April 6, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Does she work for the state or the fed?

Midas on April 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM

Pretty obvious what the answer is. The question is, what do MN voters have to say about that?

jwolf on April 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM

So what is Pawlenty going to do in response? As AG, can she rule that he is blocked from spending state cash to file suit against Obamacare? Maybe she ties him up in litigation and makes him look weak. Did her orders come from Obama and DNC?

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM

News from the future:

“Lori Swanson loses in a landslide”

ExUrbanKevin on April 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

If you listen closely, you can here all of Texas laughing at you from here. Well, almost all. There’s a few lame-o’s at UT that think like you.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM

Woops, that should have read “written by ACORN”.

rockmom on April 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Heh. Actually I thought the SCORN version was pretty cool.

jwolf on April 6, 2010 at 2:18 PM

hear, dang it

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Once again, the Constitution gets in the way of a liberal. It seems like a White House appointment is in her future!

How did Minnesota give us Pawlenty, Franken and this liberal idiot?

orlandocajun on April 6, 2010 at 2:21 PM

She filed her briefs and was then quickly issued a new set of White House brand Knee Pads…..

wear ‘em out….

ted c on April 6, 2010 at 2:22 PM

It is sad that a state AG would put politics above doing her job.

Anyone with the most basic legal training knows that the HC bill is unconstitutional on its face.

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

It’s the tradition, Scandinavian in origin, of “Prairie Socialism”. It exists throughout the upper Mid-West. It’s annoying as all get-out.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Thanks. I’ll have to read up on it, but I would prefer … if they want “prairie socialism” that they restrict it to their state and pay for it themselves.

Scandinavia had escaped my target list of places to nuke from orbit. Unfortunately, they’re now on.

darwin on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM
If you listen closely, you can here all of Texas laughing at you from here. Well, almost all. There’s a few lame-o’s at UT that think like you.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:17 PM

–There are also a few people in Collin and Dallas counties that think like me (though less than a majority in Collin county). But this is a good question. It sure looks like the AGs’ lawsuit will be a loser based on existing Supreme Court precedent. If the AGs’ lawsuit is a loser, why shouldn’t the GOP pay back the costs of that lawsuit?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Okay, Jimbo3, I’m sure you are well known for your legal credentials and we should take seriously your opinion that the suit against Obamacare is “very likely” to fail, but I am ignorant: what do you base this opinion on?

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Pawlenty leaving Swanson Romney in the dust…

mjbrooks3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

I suspect she would have no problem demanding Congress that US Citizens be forced to buy government motors suicide clown cars, to help lower health care costs. It goes together that if government can increase the death rate, you lower the number of health care recipients. And besides, if you are injured too severely, there is always the death panels to dispose of the case.

Aren’t we building a fine Country — buy what we tell you are else fines, jails, eugenics and with gulags and all.

As most Communist country have found throughout the 20th century there is no end of the government goodness on the path to tyranny.

tarpon on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

It is sad that a state AG would put politics above doing her job.

Anyone with the most basic legal training knows that the HC bill is unconstitutional on its face.

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

–So I take it you have basic legal training? Can you point us to current Supreme Court cases that would say its “unconstitutional on its face”?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

They see it as a States’ rights issue. It’s what the people of a given state should be doing, defending their rights. Get it? So you think that since they will probably lose they shouldn’t try to defend what they think is right?

Thank goodness you weren’t at Valley Forge.

Funny, the Commissioners of our county decided last night to support the Texas AG’s fight against Obamacare. I emaild them asking why they were willing to waste the taxpayers’ money in Texas against a lawsuit that they seem very likely to lose, and if the GOP was going to reimburse Texas for its legal costs if the Texas AG’s suit failed. No response yet from them (and probably never).

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

WitchDoctor on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Let’s see how Pawlenty handles this. Does he fight or does he cower?

Sultry Beauty on April 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM

It sure looks like the AGs’ lawsuit will be a loser based on existing Supreme Court precedent. If the AGs’ lawsuit is a loser, why shouldn’t the GOP pay back the costs of that lawsuit?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Supreme court precedent looks to me to be leaning towards overturning the law. Especially when you consider that the commerce clause can’t compel commerce.

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Granholm not only won’t let our Republican AG join the opposition, she’s instructing him to file amicus briefs in SUPPORT of Obamacare.

Purely a political move. She’s looking for her next job and an Obama appointment looks like her best option.

Dee2008 on April 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Better idea, I can point my middle finger at you!

dmann on April 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

Swanson, a Democrat (DFL in Minnesota), argues in a letter to Pawlenty that Congress has wide latitude to control interstate commerce. That is true, but it is equally true that there is no interstate commerce in health insurance; Congress has blocked it.

“Ed lies!”

/crr6

Del Dolemonte on April 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Lopez, concurred in by Anthony Kennedy.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Lopez, Morrison, etc etc

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Many liberal MinnesŌtans who have posted here will say that MinnesŌta’s economy does well in spite of the fact that it is run by democrats. (Well, they don’t say it exactly like that …)

If/When Obamacare hits MinnesŌta’s economy, Swanson won’t have to worry about getting re-elected ever again.

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

No response yet from them (and probably never).

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM

You said you emailed them last night. Do you really expect a response so soon?

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

It’s the tradition, Scandinavian in origin, of “Prairie Socialism”. It exists throughout the upper Mid-West. It’s annoying as all get-out.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:14 PM

I agree. Here in ND there are a lot of them.
Which is probably what got us Conrad & Dorgan.
But there are enough stubborn Germans, Irish, etc.. whom I think make us center enough to avoid outright socialism, for a while, anyway.

Thank goodness you weren’t at Valley Forge.
WitchDoctor on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

I love this. Those who read their Rancid History understand that there was a time that rancid was not a popular option with the ‘people’ of the time.
But they soon came around when the Brits didn’t just stop at taxation without representation.
I believe Jimbo would have been a Tory if he had been around during those times.
And he would then have fled to Canada bcs he wouldn’t have been able to understand why all his Patriot neighbors were extremely PO’d at hime for supporting the Tories & housing them in his home.

Badger40 on April 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

You mean they’re that stupid that they don’t know they have a Republican governor?

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Wow, talking about torpedo’ing your future political life! I’m assuming Ms. Swanson has no desire to be a public figure after November. Though, I’m sure some liberal group will be fast to snatch her up as counsel for some ridiculous amount of pay.

ButterflyDragon on April 6, 2010 at 2:36 PM

You mean they’re that stupid that they don’t know they have a Republican governor?

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM

Not sure who they “think” is in charge.

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:37 PM

DFL=Dumb F’ing Libtard

OmahaConservative on April 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Stop the profanity, here we refer to them as Darn Fornicating Liars.

jpmn on April 6, 2010 at 2:38 PM

…If the AGs’ lawsuit is a loser, why shouldn’t the GOP pay back the costs of that lawsuit?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Um, because the “GOP” isn’t driving the lawsuits, the will of each litigous state’s respective populace is.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Okay, Jimbo3, I’m sure you are well known for your legal credentials and we should take seriously your opinion that the suit against Obamacare is “very likely” to fail, but I am ignorant: what do you base this opinion on?

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

See

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2010/03/19/DI2010031902926.html Also see http://volokh.com/

Several of the conservative law professors who think Obamacare should be unconstitutional also think that the individual mandate will more likely than not be upheld (Ilya Shapiro and Randy Barnett, in particular).

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

As for Swanson, I’ll give her props for sticking her neck out and publicly defending Obamacare. But it’s electoral suicide.

Doughboy on April 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Establishing her street creds to replace Holder when the time comes.

a capella on April 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

No response yet from them (and probably never).

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:11 PM
You said you emailed them last night. Do you really expect a response so soon?

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

–No. I never expect a response from them. Just like I never expect a response from my Texas representatives.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM


If the AGs’ lawsuit is a loser, why shouldn’t the GOP pay back the costs of that lawsuit?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM
Um, because the “GOP” isn’t driving the lawsuits, the will of each litigous state’s respective populace is.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

–Gee. It’s strange that all the people who want to strike down the law are GOP. Doesn’t that suggest the GOP (or at least GOP-related political decisions) are part of the reason for the lawsuit. And why should the Commissioners of Collin County (a county in the DFW metroplex) have anything to do with the lawsuit, except that they’re all GOP?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I just shook my head when I read this last night.

Of course she is supporting – OF COURSE!

This state is so whacked out.

gophergirl on April 6, 2010 at 2:45 PM

I believe Jimbo would have been a Tory if he had been around during those times.
Badger40 on April 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Perhaps, but I think he would have donned a dress and wig and serviced the Hessian mercenaries just for fun.

SKYFOX on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Gee. It’s strange that all the people who want to strike down the law are GOP.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

I didn’t realize that 60% of the US population belonged to the GOP……

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Many liberal MinnesŌtans who have posted here will say that MinnesŌta’s economy does well in spite of the fact that it is run by democrats. (Well, they don’t say it exactly like that …)

If/When Obamacare hits MinnesŌta’s economy, Swanson won’t have to worry about getting re-elected ever again.

VibrioCocci on April 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

If a Democrat wins the Governorship – we are so in for years of “makeup” taxes – it won’t be pretty.

Pawlenty should have stayed put or Coleman needs to change his mind and run.

gophergirl on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Lopez, concurred in by Anthony Kennedy.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM
Lopez, Morrison, etc etc

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Lopez holding. It’s apples vs oranges when compared to health insurance.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. It held that while Congress had broad lawmaking authority under the Commerce Clause, the power was limited, and did not extend so far from “commerce” as to authorize the regulation of the carrying of handguns, especially when there was no evidence that carrying them affected the economy on a massive scale.

Morrison holding. Similar apples v oranges:

The majority concluded that acts of violence such as those that VAWA was meant to remedy had only an “attenuated” effect, not a substantial one, on interstate commerce. The government, however, argued that “a mountain of evidence” indicated that these acts in the aggregate did have a substantial effect; for this proposition it relied on Wickard v. Filburn (1942), which held that Congress could regulate an individual act that lacked a substantial effect on interstate commerce if, when aggregated, acts of that sort had the required relation to interstate commerce. Once again relying on Lopez, the majority replied that the aggregation principle of Wickard did not apply because economic effects of crimes against women were indirect, and therefore could not be addressed through the Commerce Clause.

The Court explained that the need to distinguish between economic activities that directly and those that indirectly affect interstate commerce was due to “the concern that we expressed in Lopez that Congress might use the Commerce Clause to completely obliterate the Constitution’s distinction between national and local authority.”

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

I believe Jimbo would have been a Tory if he had been around during those times.
Badger40 on April 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM
Perhaps, but I think he would have donned a dress and wig and serviced the Hessian mercenaries just for fun.

SKYFOX on April 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

–Now that IS a low blow….

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Funny, the Commissioners of our county decided last night to support the Texas AG’s fight against Obamacare. I emaild them asking why they were willing to waste the taxpayers’ money in Texas against a lawsuit that they seem very likely to lose, and if the GOP was going to reimburse Texas for its legal costs if the Texas AG’s suit failed. No response yet from them (and probably never).

Likely to lose?

Can the federal gov’t mandate that I buy a 6-pack of soda every week or be penalized? Why not? how is that different than mandating I buy insurance? At what point does the federal gov’t right to “mandate” I do x or y end? Why you and those who think like you say so? Where in the constitution does the gov’t have the ability to mandate private citizens purchase anything?

I know, you’ll argue that state’s have always mandated car insurance to engagte in the privilege of driving on state streets (mind you, I don’t believe they can mandate the same for driving on private property). What do you think the analogy is here – that I have to buy health insurance for the privilege of being alive?

I know that there are at least 4 individuals on the supreme court who will vote in favor of the mandate b/c they will vote their ideology over any rational reading of the constitution any day of the week (or maybe they will look to foreign law to decide what the constitution says, as they have done in previous cases), but that does not make it correct.

Monkeytoe on April 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Jimbo3, you’re asserting this is a frivolous case, so GOP should pay? Risible. http://online.wsj.com/video-center?mod=WSJ_formfactor

What’s also hilarious is that you say your opinion may be in the minority in Colin County. Uh, ya think? I’d say it’s a distinct minority, pal.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

I knew the DFL was angling to lose yet another governor’s race, but I had no idea they wanted to punt away the AG office (and hopefully SOS – Alisnsky disciple Mark Ritchie) as well.

Bruno Strozek on April 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Everyone arguing precedent misses the point. There is no precedent for the U.S. Gov’t requring private individuals to purchase things from other private individuals. that is not regulation of commerce and thus does not fall under the commerce clause.

If that is regulation of commerce, then why can’t the gov’t simply decide what everyone buys each and every day. They could issue a grocery list for each person and mandate that such be the only groceries that person buys for the week.

If the power to do the one is there, surely the power to do the other is there. If not, please explain how not.

Monkeytoe on April 6, 2010 at 2:53 PM

…And why should the Commissioners of Collin County (a county in the DFW metroplex) have anything to do with the lawsuit, except that they’re all GOP?

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Gee, Sparky, do you really think no one here has heard of
Tarrant or Dallas County? And I think Rick Perry might be a Republican, too. Just because Houston elected a lesbian and the weed is great on 6th in Austin don’t get to thinkin’ Tejas ain’t conservative -before it’s Republican.

And I met Ann Richards; I don’t think she was your style of Democrat, Jimbolame-o.

Doorgunner on April 6, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Bruno Strozek on April 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

I think she’s getting her orders from national dems. They want her to get in Pawlenty’s way. And she’s probably thinking, well, I’m to the right of Franken (who isn’t?) and I’m not a buffoon like he is. If he got elected my chances are probably not so bad …

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Jimbo3, you’re asserting this is a frivolous case, so GOP should pay? Risible. http://online.wsj.com/video-center?mod=WSJ_formfactor

What’s also hilarious is that you say your opinion may be in the minority in Colin County. Uh, ya think? I’d say it’s a distinct minority, pal.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 2:50 PM

–It’s about 40/60 in Collin, based on the 2008 election. I wouldn’t call that a distinct minority.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

The Court explained that the need to distinguish between economic activities that directly and those that indirectly affect interstate commerce was due to “the concern that we expressed in Lopez that Congress might use the Commerce Clause to completely obliterate the Constitution’s distinction between national and local authority.”

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

You just destroyed your own argument (emphasis mine).

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

The Court explained that the need to distinguish between economic activities that directly and those that indirectly affect interstate commerce was due to “the concern that we expressed in Lopez that Congress might use the Commerce Clause to completely obliterate the Constitution’s distinction between national and local authority.”

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM
You just destroyed your own argument (emphasis mine).

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

–Morrison involved a law prohibiting violence against women. The US argued the law should be upheld because of, in effect, the indirect effects that violence against women had on economic activity. In the healthcare insurance case, it’s clear that insurance has a direct effect on economic activity.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Same with Oregon’s AG John Kroger btw. He is fighting FOR the constitutionality of HCR. Of course – he’s really arguing that their is judicial president for it – NOT that it is actually constitutional…

…To my States eternal shame…

whatthecrap on April 6, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Wonder if this Interstate commerce clause is the biggest reaosn the GOP hasn’t passed buying Health Insurance across state lines when had power to do so?

Since its all Intra-state it is a good legal argument against the dems.

jp on April 6, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 3:02 PM

You are still missing the point

Congress might use the Commerce Clause to completely obliterate the Constitution’s distinction between national and local authority

Vashta.Nerada on April 6, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

You are right. I had not kept up with county demographics. Only 66% in latest census statistics are non-hispanic whites. Demographics are a pretty good predictor of voting patterns in Texas. But hey Jimbo, good news for you. The demographics are moving in your favor in this state. Pretty soon we will be voting for policies more like California’s!

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM

I think after a long line of Wickard descendants it’s an uphill climb, but the Supreme Court is always free to say “no, not that far.” I tend to think a correction in Commerce Clause jurisprudence is long overdue, but then I see a case like Raich and I just shake my head.

I really do wonder whether in the end all we’ll be left with are aesthetic limits to Congress’ power to regulate commercial activity (or even noncommercial nonactivity)… that what they will leave alone they will leave alone only because they feel like it at the time. Ultimately it looks like everything will be political, unless that gets taken from us too.

DrSteve on April 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Jimbo3 appears to be left of Travis County (Austin). I’m bettin’ he won’t be citing Collin County democrat representation in a couple of cycles. The giant is no longer sleeping Jimbo.

DanMan on April 6, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 2:56 PM

You are right. I had not kept up with county demographics. Only 66% in latest census statistics are non-hispanic whites. Demographics are a pretty good predictor of voting patterns in Texas. But hey Jimbo, good news for you. The demographics are moving in your favor in this state. Pretty soon we will be voting for policies more like California’s!

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 3:12 PM

–It’s still one of the twenty most conservative large counties in the US and will be a GOP stronghold for sometime, so I wouldn’t go all weepy and such. My guess is that Texas as a whole will continue to moderate a bit over the next twenty years as more people from blue states (and from Mexico) move here, but that it will always retain its historical swagger and edge.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I think after a long line of Wickard descendants it’s an uphill climb, but the Supreme Court is always free to say “no, not that far.” I tend to think a correction in Commerce Clause jurisprudence is long overdue, but then I see a case like Raich and I just shake my head.

DrSteve on April 6, 2010 at 3:14 PM

I am not a con law expert, but I suspect you are right. If they don’t draw the line here, then there will never be a line drawn. If the feds can force you to buy insurance as part of a national regulatory scheme, then there is no limit to the mandates they can place on your income because Washington has regulations in just about every single area of life. There is nothing they won’t be able to force you to buy.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Ed, what’s wrong with the people in your state?

Big John on April 6, 2010 at 3:25 PM

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

I’m so glad you can be so sanguine about it. Ah, yes, the “swagger and edge”. We will “moderate” a bit. Maybe elect a few more moderate reps like mine, Sheila Jackson Lee.

I think you might be missing the point. Obamacare imposes huge new medicare costs on Texas. We will have no choice but to impose a state income tax.

chris999 on April 6, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Mr. Pawlenty needs to have her removed.

Mark7788 on April 6, 2010 at 3:33 PM

In the healthcare insurance case, it’s clear that insurance has a direct effect on economic activity.

Jimbo3 on April 6, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Does my not purchasing health care affect interstate commerce more than not buying a loaf of bread?

If not, can the Government force me to buy a loaf of bread of the “approved style/brand/etc.” against my will under this “interstate commerce” because my lack of purchase affects commerce?

Is there any good, service, or product imaginable where the lack of purchase of this product doesn’t affect “interstate commerce” as you’ve defined it?

As there clearly isn’t; I guess I should get a lobbyist now to try to get the government to mandate purchases of my product over my competitors… i.e. the capitalist dream of America; where you legislate a monopoly and people are forced to buy your products whether they want to or not; or go to jail.

Add in Wickard v. Filburn (growing your own crops for your own farm use = interstate commerce) and what limitations apply to the government once the commerce clause is applied?

Anything at all? Does the Government have full power without limitation?

And if that’s the premise… why bother with having a Constitution? Just print the commerce clause on an index card and be done with it.

gekkobear on April 6, 2010 at 3:34 PM

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