ObamaCare ruling: Commerce Clause now reaches “mental activity”
posted at 4:12 pm on February 23, 2011 by Bruce McQuain
Another federal judge has found for the Constitutionality of the individual mandate. But if ever you’ve wondered what tortured logic looks like (made in an effort to justify something that just doesn’t fit) then you’ll be amazed to read the following from the ruling:
As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power….However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not “acting,” especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality. [emphasis added]
Our thoughts are now actions. There literally is nothing the federal government cannot regulate provided there is even a hypothetical connection to the economy, even if the connection at most is in the future.
Excuse me while I sit down and ponder all of that for a moment. Anytime you make a choice not to act you are "acting". Therefore, the court has now decided, any decision to not to act (related to commerce) is an act and you can be therefore required to do what the government says you must do.
Or, more succinctly, you have no real choice regardless of what you decide, so sayeth the court.
If I decide not to buy a car, I’m acting, and if the government wanted to require me to buy a car, under this ruling, it could.
That’s just absurd (but Government Motors will most likely be putting together a heck of a lobbying effort to carry this ruling out to its logical end).
Oh and borrowing again from Jacobson, a little reminder of where all this “legal thought” is supposedly grounded:
The Congress shall have power…. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
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