Breaking: Vinson stays ruling on ObamaCare – but just for seven days

posted at 1:22 pm on March 3, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

A mild surprise here, as Judge Roger Vinson’s earlier ruling seemed fairly categorical.  If a law is unconstitutional, then implementation should be abandoned, and Vinson’s ruling suggested that no further clarification would be necessary.  In his stay, Vinson now appears to press for an expedited Supreme Court review:

In his ruling, Vinson repeated what he has said previously — that “the citizens of this country have an interest in having this case resolved as soon as practically possible.”

“That was nearly eleven months ago,” he wrote. “In the time since, the battle lines have been drawn, the relevant case law marshaled, and the legal arguments refined. Almost everyone agrees that the constitutionality of the Act is an issue that will ultimately have to be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. It is very important to everyone in this country that this case move forward.”

And in fact, the stay in this case is only good for seven days, and is predicated on the Obama administration filing an application for expedited appeal, either with the appeals court or the Supreme Court:

After careful consideration of the factors noted above, and all the arguments set forth in the defendants’ motion to clarify, I find that the motion, construed as a motion for stay, should be GRANTED. However, the stay will be conditioned upon the defendants filing their anticipated appeal within seven (7) calendar days of this order and seeking an expedited appellate review, either in the Court of Appeals or with the Supreme Court under Rule 11 of that Court.

Otherwise, Vinson ruled, his original ruling has an immediate injunctive effect that nullifies the entirety of the ObamaCare law.  He also expressed no small amount of derision for the respondents’ argument to the contrary:

So to “clarify” my order and judgment: The individual mandate was declared unconstitutional. Because that “essential” provision was unseverable from the rest of the Act, the entire legislation was void. This declaratory judgment was expected to be treated as the “practical” and “functional equivalent of an injunction” with respect to the parties to the litigation. This expectation was based on the “longstanding presumption” that the defendants themselves identified and agreed to be bound by, which provides that a declaratory judgment against federal officials is a de facto injunction. To the extent that the defendants were unable (or believed that they were unable) to comply, it was expected that they would immediately seek a stay of the ruling, and at that point in time present their arguments for why such a stay is necessary, which is the usual and standard procedure. It was not expected that they would effectively ignore the order and declaratory judgment for two and one-half weeks, continue to implement the Act, and only then file a belated motion to “clarify.”6

Furthermore, Vinson goes right up to the edge of accusing the Obama administration of lying to the court:

The defendants have suggested, for example, that my order and judgment could not have been intended to have the full force of an injunction because, if I had so intended, I would have been “required to apply the familiar four-factor test” to determine if injunctive relief was appropriate. …

I did not undertake this four-factor analysis for a simple reason: it was not necessary. Even though the defendants had technically disputed that the plaintiffs could satisfy those four factors, the defendants had acknowledged in their summary judgment opposition brief that, if I were to find for the plaintiffs, separate injunctive relief would be superfluous and unnecessary. The defendants expressly assured the court that, in light of the “long-standing presumption that a declaratory judgment provides adequate relief as against an executive officer, as it will not be presumed that that officer will ignore the judgment of the Court,” any declaratory judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor “would [ ] be adequate to vindicate [the plaintiffs’] claims.” Defendants’ Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for  summary Judgment (doc. 137), at 43. Consequently, there was no need to discuss and apply the four-factor test to determine if injunctive relief was appropriate because the defendants had confirmed that they would “not . . . ignore the judgment of the Court” and that my “declaratory judgment would [ ] be adequate.” In other words, the defendants are now claiming that it is somehow confusing that I bypassed the four-factor test and applied the “long-standing presumption” that they themselves had identified and specifically insisted that they would honor.

Basically, this forces the Department of Justice to expedite the appeals process, which they were clearly hoping to avoid.  The dilatory tactics that Vinson blasts in this ruling almost certainly won’t impress the appellate court, either.  Furthermore, the order forces the Obama administration to fight on Vinson’s ruling first and now rather than wait for a more friendly set of rulings and hope to marginalize Vinson down the road.

The White House asked for a clarification.  They got a trip to the woodshed instead, and a very short time frame to stop the halt to ObamaCare that Vinson’s ruling creates.

Update: The effect of Vinson’s stay will be indefinite if the DoJ files for an expedited appeal within the seven-day limit.  Therefore, there is no need to ask the appeals court or Supreme Court for a further stay.  Thanks to Michael G for the correction.


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So not selling something is an activity? In what sense is it an activity? What kind of activity is it, exactly?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You’ve had your explanation. Repeating myself won’t help you correct your error. Try a proper analogy in the future if you’re interested in an honest discussion.

Steel on March 3, 2011 at 4:39 PM

You’ve had your explanation. Repeating myself won’t help you correct your error. Try a proper analogy in the future if you’re interested in an honest discussion.

Steel on March 3, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Well you didn’t actually give an explanation, you just said, “Your analogy isn’t relevant” and then falsely stated that in order to have something to sell, you have to have engaged in commerce. Then you just kinda kept saying stuff like “That’s a false analogy” without really explaining why it was a false analogy, and then, once we finally got to the point where we determined that not selling something is activity, and I asked what kind of activity that might be, you said, “You’ve had your explanation.” But I really didn’t get an explanation from you, but that’s okay, I don’t mind asking again:

So not selling something is an activity? In what sense is it an activity? What kind of activity is it, exactly?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Good points. I shall amend my behavior in the future. ;>)

odat on March 3, 2011 at 4:53 PM

Plus, it’s good for HA business. I love the irony of lefties fostering capitalism :)

Schadenfreude on March 3, 2011 at 3:45 PM

haha.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 4:55 PM

I was being a bit facitious with my first response, but I stick by it.

not serving a potential customer is commercial inactivity. That’s what I’m saying cannot be regulated.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:30 PM

We have to be careful with equivocation here. In your scenerio, the seller (by definition!) is not “not selling something,” he is selling something, he’s just refusing his provided services to a particular client using an illigitimate criteria for doing so.

That’s why this seems a bad metaphor…not only does it confuses the issue, it focuses on the role of the seller and conflates that with the responsbilities of (potential) buyers.

The seller — upon choosing the become a seller (which is no small point on its own) — agrees to play by certain rules. That doesn’t mean that everyone around him, therefore, is required to become a buyer.

It’s a far stretch to get from point A to point B.

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 3, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Although I strongly believe that expanding the commerce power to permit Congress to regulate and mandate mental decisions not to purchase health insurance (or any other product or service) would emasculate much of the rest of the Constitution and effectively remove all limitations on the power of the federal government, I recognize that others believe otherwise.

Lol…love this guy.

Asher on March 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM

not seeling something and not buying something is not an activity. It is no action. I can sit on my ass all day and I have not taken any action. If I did that I would have lost oppurtunity but I would have taken no action. I would not have engaged in commerce.

If Obamacare is ruled consitituional they I wouold demand a conservativ ePOTUS to make everyone buy a gun, take gun classes once a month. i would also demand that they buy two cartons of cigs and jack the taxes on a cartoon by 4005 to pay for obamacare. further I would demand that evety citizen buy 10 gals of gas twice per week so the evil oil companies can get rich……

Obamacare is nothing but indentured servitude because the government is forcing us to either work for the insurance companies.

take your freaking marxism and stufff it up your as* we aren’t buying.

unseen on March 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

We have to be careful with equivocation here. In your scenerio, the seller (by definition!) is not “not selling something,” he is selling something, he’s just refusing his provided services to a particular client using an illigitimate criteria for doing so.

No, but he’s not selling dinner to this particular client. He’s NOT engaging in commerce with that potential client. How does the government have the right to regulate that inactivity?

The seller — upon choosing the become a seller (which is no small point on its own) — agrees to play by certain rules.

Anyone who owns anything is a potential seller. Does the government have the right to force me to sell those things? Even to people I don’t want to sell them to? I’m just not choosing to sell those things right now. I’m not engaging in commerce and the government cannot regulate inactivity, it says so right in the Constitution in the “government cannot regulate inactivity clause” of Article 19.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

unseen on March 3, 2011 at 4:58 PM

Dude, you need to tell us how you really feel. Quit holding back. LOL

odat on March 3, 2011 at 5:03 PM

oops! I copied the wrong quote above…should have been:

So not selling something is an activity? In what sense is it an activity? What kind of activity is it, exactly?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

…the seller (by definition!) is not “not selling something,” he is selling something…

…and that’s why we have to be careful of equivocation. In some sense you’re right that the seller is not selling something by refusing to sell to the client, but that relies on a rather forced definition of the phrase. I would contend that you’re meaning something very different w/r/t the owner than w/r/t the patron’s hypothetical buddy who happened to be standing next to him in line and who was also “not selling something” to him. One person represents a commercial entity; the other does not.

Would you propose that everyone in the restaurant is just as guilty of illegitimate business practices as the hypothetical restaurant owner is, because no one sold him a meal? If not, what makes the owner so special? It couldn’t be his “active” participation in the commerce market, could it?

…Even aside from all that, though, that’s a study of the obligations of the seller, and not the non-buyer.

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 3, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Would you propose that everyone in the restaurant is just as guilty of illegitimate business practices as the hypothetical restaurant owner is, because no one sold him a meal? If not, what makes the owner so special? It couldn’t be his “active” participation in the commerce market, could it?

To be clear, when I say everyone in the restaurant, I don’t mean the full staff; I mean every man, woman and child that happened to be occupying the restaurant at that particular moment.

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 3, 2011 at 5:19 PM

Got to love the AP spin on this

Judge refuses to halt new healthcare law

Of course Drudge jut repeats the dumb headline.

WoosterOh on March 3, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Anyone who owns anything is a potential seller. Does the government have the right to force me to sell those things?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

If not doing something can be considered an activity, then the dead are very busy.

Myth_Happens on March 3, 2011 at 5:28 PM

I was too busy correcting myself to see this:

No, but he’s not selling dinner to this particular client. He’s NOT engaging in commerce with that potential client. How does the government have the right to regulate that inactivity?

One more try: This is what I mean by equivocation.

The law of non-contradictions states that X cannot be both A and !A simultaneously with a consistent interpretation of A.

If a seller is one who “sells something”, then by definition, a seller can not also “not sell something,” unless we apply an inconsistent interpretation to the phrase “sell something”

I contend that’s what you’re doing.

In the sense that the seller is a seller, he cannot not be selling something (which is why the term is an inaccurate description of his behavior)

In the sense that he’s not selling something, he’s just like the countless others who are also not selling something (which undermines the notion of singling him out as having any additional responsibility to do otherwise).

BlueCollarAstronaut on March 3, 2011 at 5:32 PM

If you put a cat in a soundproof opaque box and close the lid…is the cat still there?

Koa on March 3, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Some people can’t afford a car. Therefore, Congress will mandate everyone buy an expensive car to subsidize cars for those who can’t afford a car.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t want a car because you not buying a car affects commerce. Therefore you will buy a car or face a penalty.

darwin on March 3, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Got to love the AP spin on this

WoosterOh on March 3, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Almost 6,000 comments at that link already including this howler

It was a wise thing of the Judge Vinson to stay his ruling until the issue of Healthcare Law is resolved in the upper courts. About half of my family lives in Canada and they can’t understand why people are calling the healthcare act as being Socialism.. It cost half as much for there healthcare and the people live longer. I personally think that it is because they don’t allow false and misleading news in Canada. ie Fox news

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 5:35 PM

My point is that I think Congress can regulate inactivity. Refusals to serve people seem to me to be as much inactivity as is the refusal to purchase health care, and if you say, “Well refusing to serve someone at a restaurant is a commercial choice you’re making,” then that seems to me to be the same point. Now neither plaintiffs in Katzenbach and Heart of Atlanta argued that they were engaging in inactivity, so maybe the Court would have ruled differently if they had.

But even still, purchasing health care is commercial activity. It is undeniably commerce, and forcing everyone to participate in a market seems to me to be one form of regulation.

And maybe you say, “Well it infringes on our liberty,” and I think that’s the most persuasive argument that the mandate is unconstitutional, but if that’s true, then the mandate at the state level is unconstitutional as well, and you’re further stuck with the ludicrous proposition that single payer is constitutional, but allowing people to have the choice about what kind of insurance they’d like to purchase is unconstitutionally infringing upon our liberties.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Translated: “I can’t answer Del’s question.”

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

forcing everyone to participate in a market seems to me to be one form of regulation.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM

?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:49 PM

My point is that I think Congress can regulate inactivity…
Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM

For Chrissakes. Goodbye, America.

rrpjr on March 3, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I’m sorry, but that’s just idiotic. I realize you don’t understand that, and what a pitiful shame that is, but it’s quite true. You have truly attained “through-the-looking-glass” levels of illogical non-reality-based thinking.

Midas on March 3, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Very good point!..In fact it is THE point!..Nice post!..:)

Dire Straits on March 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

For Chrissakes. Goodbye, America.

rrpjr on March 3, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Well, let me clarify – I think it can regulate inactivity as it relates to commerce, which is basically either the decision not to purchase something or not to sell something, so long as no other provisions of the Constitution are violated, there’s a rational basis, etc.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

What if you waste the first two years of your presidency, waste all of your political capital and send your party into a death spiral over one legislative achievement which is then swept away in toto by the wave of a judge’s hand?

Are you still a wunderkind? still a political genius? still a messiah? Or are you just another political failure?

29Victor on March 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Translated: “I can’t answer Del’s question.”

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

No, more like it’s clear that you didn’t read the entire exchange. In effect, you were arguing against your own position (i.e. saying Heart of Atlanta is analogous to the instant case). That’s why I laughed.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Translated: “I can’t answer Del’s question.”

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Another angle:

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) to obtain documents detailing Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s participation in discussions related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of March 23, 2010, also known as Obamacare, while she served as U.S. Solicitor General. The constitutionality of the “individual mandate” in President Obama’s health care reform may end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 3:53 PM

That is indeed a signigicant development.

ON the commerce argument… it is creepy that the government can force you into the hospital if you don’t want to go. I mean theortically… of course it is the opposite that everyone is worried about but if they can force you to buy insurance it seems like they can force you to have certain medical procedures as well. For similar reasons. If you don’t have laser eye surgery you may endanger others… choices are being limited.

I just want the government to mind it’s own business and get out of mine.

petunia on March 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

No, more like it’s clear that you didn’t read the entire exchange. In effect, you were arguing against your own position (i.e. saying Heart of Atlanta is analogous to the instant case). That’s why I laughed.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Annnnd you probably won’t understand where I’m coming from, but that’s sort of the point.

You’d be better off doing your typical routine of sniping from the sidelines, and rehashing talking points from the early to mid 2000′s (Bush v. Gore was 7-2! A federal court found a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq! etc etc).

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM

As reported on Hotair:
In September 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that ObamaCare makes health care more expensive than if nothing was done.

In July 2010, Medicare’s chief actuary warned that ObamaCare’s high risk pool will be bankrupt and run out of money in 2014. At this point, those with pre-existing conditions will be dumped out of government health care.

In January 2011, Medicare’s chief actuary reported that ObamaCare will not control health care costs, but Paul Ryan’s plan could control healthcare costs far better than ObamaCare.

If ObamaCare stands, we are all screwed.

redeye on March 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM

What if you waste the first two years of your presidency, waste all of your political capital and send your party into a death spiral over one legislative achievement which is then swept away in toto by the wave of a judge’s hand?

Are you still a wunderkind? still a political genius? still a messiah? Or are you just another political failure?

29Victor on March 3, 2011 at 6:01 PM

A purely hypothetical question of course.

petunia on March 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM

I just want the government to mind it’s own business and get out of mine.

petunia on March 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Amen!..Hear!..Hear!..:)

Dire Straits on March 3, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Well, let me clarify – I think it can regulate inactivity as it relates to commerce, which is basically either the decision not to purchase something or not to sell something, so long as no other provisions of the Constitution are violated, there’s a rational basis, etc.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:59 PM

And who would determine what relates and what does not relate to commerce?

What time you get up in the morning is related to commerce, if you think about it. If you got up an hour earlier, you’d have the opportunity to stop off for a better breakfast than you would if you slept in. Should the government be allowed to regulate your wake up call?

Should the government force me to buy a car? I don’t have one right now. My decision not to buy a car is also related to commerce. On top of the actual loss for the dealership, there’s the fact that I don’t pay car insurance. I don’t buy gas. I don’t have car repair bills.

Does the government have the right to force me to purchase a car?

At what point does limited powers mean anything to liberals?

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:09 PM

If ObamaCare stands, we are all screwed.

redeye on March 3, 2011 at 6:07 PM

Good point!..:(

Dire Straits on March 3, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Yes.

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Likewise, anyone who doesn’t have health insurance is a potential buyer. But does the government have the right to force me to buy that?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Yes.

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM

What exactly does the government NOT have the right to compel private citizens to buy or do?

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:14 PM

What exactly does the government NOT have the right to compel private citizens to buy or do?

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:14 PM

All sorts of things would be barred by the DPC, or the Establishment clause. So they couldn’t force you to join a church or worship a God. They couldn’t force you to get up at a certain time, or pursue a certain profession.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM

What time you get up in the morning is related to commerce, if you think about it.

Well, technically anything could relate to commerce. But the Supreme Court basically said in Lopez, “We’re not going to pile inference upon inference to extend congressional authority under the CC to some general police power.” So it has to be something that is commercial in nature, ie stuff you buy, sell produce, etc. What time you get up in the morning wouldn’t work.

Should the government force me to buy a car? I don’t have one right now. My decision not to buy a car is also related to commerce. On top of the actual loss for the dealership, there’s the fact that I don’t pay car insurance. I don’t buy gas. I don’t have car repair bills.

Does the government have the right to force me to purchase a car?

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:09 PM

I’m not sure about the car example because I haven’t thought it through completely but my inclination is, no, they probably can’t force you to buy a car, but you definitely participate in the food market and the shelter markets, and so they could force you to own some kind of homeowner’s/renter’s insurance or they could force you to buy certain kinds of foods (theoretically).

And you know what? I think that’s a really stupid idea. I would not support any Congressman who wanted to do that. And I suspect most legislators realize that. Just because a law is horrible or stupid doesn’t necessarily make it unconstitutional, sometimes bad laws are just bad. And you fix those bad laws by voting out the liberal idiots that tried to make you buy broccoli. I’d rather that, frankly, than have a bunch of unelected judges tell you which laws the people are allowed to make for themselves and which ones they are not. The role of the judiciary should be as minimal as possible.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Yes.

LOL.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Can the government force you to buy a fully automatic M4 carbine with optional grenade launcher attachment and ammunition for both the rifle and grenade launcher because they are concerned the manufacturer will go out of business?

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Crr-

You spend this much time on line at a blog and you’re a law student. You smell fishy.

PR-

When do you get your billable hours? Do you have a life? You’re always here.

CWforFreedom on March 3, 2011 at 6:22 PM

All sorts of things would be barred by the DPC, or the Establishment clause. So they couldn’t force you to join a church or worship a God. They couldn’t force you to get up at a certain time, or pursue a certain profession.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM

And why not?

Seriously? If they have the right to force people to purchase things they don’t want for the sake of “commerce”…what’s to stop them from micromanaging society so that there are more people working in certain industries?

You know, because that affects “commerce” too.

The “commerce clause” has been twisted by morons to be more than it was meant to be so that liberals could garner more power for themselves at the expense of individual liberties.

And that’s just the way they want it.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:22 PM

So not selling something is an activity? In what sense is it an activity? What kind of activity is it, exactly?

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 4:32 PM

You lost me.

Is it legal for the government to tell you that if you must buy your food from an authorized restaurant, and that you must have; a salad, soup, an approved appetizer, a main course with fish in it, and a desert with blueberries as your meal?

I sometimes get confused with anti-establishment liberals (who adamantly deny the government access into the bedroom), seek to allow the same distrusted government into our doctor’s offices…how about this; I don’t want healthcare. If I get injured or sick, I don’t want to be taken to the doctor, the hospital, or be given medication…so, why must I pay for insurance?

Geministorm on March 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

what’s to stop them from micromanaging society so that there are more people working in certain industries?

Voters.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:18 PM

Government ALWAYS expands original ideas. What is voluntary one day is compulsory the next.

The government is limited to certain things and it continues to find ways to increase more power unto itself at the expense of the people.

It’s as if they willingly disregard the intent of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers. And for many of them, I have no doubt this is true.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Voters.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:24 PM

Oh please.

Voters have NO POWER when government officials are corrupt. When they are buying votes with the PEOPLE’S money and bragging about it to push legislation that was and still is rejected by the voters.

And voters have NO POWER against extra-constitutional regulatory bodies who impose by fiat what cannot be passed by legislation.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM

And why not?

uhh…because there are express Constitutional provisions saying they can’t.

Seriously? If they have the right to force people to purchase things they don’t want for the sake of “commerce”…what’s to stop them from micromanaging society so that there are more people working in certain industries?

The due process clause of the 5th amendment.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Voters have NO POWER when government officials are corrupt.

Vote ‘em out.

When they are buying votes with the PEOPLE’S money and bragging about it to push legislation that was and still is rejected by the voters.

Vote ‘em out. Vote in people to repeal it.

And voters have NO POWER against extra-constitutional regulatory bodies who impose by fiat what cannot be passed by legislation.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM

So, vote in people who want to eliminate those regulatory bodies. Congress can do that, you know.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

I would not support any Congressman who wanted to do that. And I suspect most legislators realize that. Just because a law is horrible or stupid doesn’t necessarily make it unconstitutional, sometimes bad laws are just bad. And you fix those bad laws by voting out the liberal idiots that tried to make you buy broccoli. I’d rather that, frankly, than have a bunch of unelected judges tell you which laws the people are allowed to make for themselves and which ones they are not. The role of the judiciary should be as minimal as possible.

Agreed. Woohoo!

Legislation allows for the un-doing of the law by elected representatives (which is a good thing). Laws set by the courts offer little of no recourse for the citizenry. If Prohibition had been the result of a court decision, how long would it take before another SCotUS would over-rule that ruling?

Geministorm on March 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Legislation allows for the un-doing of the law by elected representatives (which is a good thing). Laws set by the courts offer little of no recourse for the citizenry. If Prohibition had been the result of a court decision, how long would it take before another SCotUS would over-rule that ruling?

Geministorm on March 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Right. No doubt in my mind that, even when I agree with the policy behind a SCOTUS opinion, that opinion would have more legitimacy if it was one created by elected officials instead of judicial fiat.

That’s not to say SCOTUS doesn’t have its role but in general, Congress is the branch that should be making the laws.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:32 PM

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

Answer the question I asked you.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Sounds pretty clear to Americans …

Not sure about communists and socialists.

tarpon on March 3, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Answer the question I asked you.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Ask nicely. Don’t demand.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Ask nicely. Don’t demand.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:36 PM

I’ll answer for you.

“No, because its policy I disagree with therefore it is unconstitutional”

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 6:29 PM

That’ll only get you so far. Some districts have been gerrymandered to the point of lunacy to ensure a loser democrat will inhabit that seat FOREVER.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:43 PM

PR do you even have an effing job? Seriously.

CWforFreedom on March 3, 2011 at 6:48 PM

I’ll answer for you.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I was going to say that Congress likely could do it, under a variety of constitutional provisions.
1) Under the general welfare clause it could raise taxes and then spend the excess revenues to purchase the weapons. Of course you’re not directly buying the guns, but you are in effect since your money is being collected and used to purchase them.
2) Congress has already required citizens to purchase guns.
3) Congress may be able to do it under the Commerce clause as well, but I’d need to know more facts.

“No, because its policy I disagree with therefore it is unconstitutional”

No, that’s precisely the position that PR and I are arguing against. Simply because you disagree with the PPACA, doesn’t mean it’s unconstitutional.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:49 PM

So they couldn’t force you to join a church or worship a God. They couldn’t force you to get up at a certain time, or pursue a certain profession.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Not so sure about this. After all, the Constitution quoted a particular Bible numerous times, and there are quotes from that same Bible engraved in numerous Federal buildings.

How about if the Government required everyone to buy a copy of the Constitution? Or required everyone to buy an American flag?

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 6:51 PM

WRECKING BALL WILL IGNORE VINSON AGAIN

……….in 5…….4…….3…….

PappyD61 on March 3, 2011 at 6:53 PM

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:49 PM

So in your view there truly are no limits to congress’ authority under the commerce clause. Why do we have a constitution if congress has such wide reaching authority under the commerce clause?

I was clear in my original question why congress mandated the purchase of M4s, making it a commerce clause issue. Under yours and PR’s reasoning congress can regulate our every purchase. And that is why this mandate does not pass the smell test. No person willing to be objective could ever imagine the the Founders would ever concede such power to congress.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM

That’ll only get you so far. Some districts have been gerrymandered to the point of lunacy to ensure a loser democrat will inhabit that seat FOREVER.

powerpro on March 3, 2011 at 6:43 PM

Do you think that if Congressional districts were forbidden to cross county lines and city boroughs/wards that gerrymandering would be less attactive?

Anyone looked in to this much?

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM

So in your view there truly are no limits to congress’ authority under the commerce clause.

No, that’s not my view at all. You guys keep saying that, and I keep explaining why it’s not true.

Then you keep saying that again.

Here’s a previous post where I explain what I think the judicially-imposed limitations on the Commerce clause should be…

I think that the current law on the Commerce clause is actually pretty good, and the health care law can be upheld without significantly expanding the current case law.

I think the Commerce clause should be limited to regulating noncriminal, economic activity which, taken in the aggregate, substantially affects interstate commerce. And I don’t think Congress should be able to pile “inference upon inference” to make activity which isn’t closely related to economic concerns, reachable by the Commerce clause. Finally (and obviously) I think that Congress shouldn’t be able to pass a law pursuant to the Commerce clause that would violate another provision of the Constitution.

I was clear in my original question why congress mandated the purchase of M4s, making it a commerce clause issue.

That doesn’t necessarily make it a commerce clause issue. Congress can impose mandates under other Article I powers.

Under yours and PR’s reasoning congress can regulate our every purchase.

No, not necessarily.

And that is why this mandate does not pass the smell test.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I’m sorry you don’t think a law passes your “smell test.” But that doesn’t make it unconstitutional.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 7:05 PM

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 7:05 PM

No, your view does not allow for any limitations on congress under the commerce clause. Your view makes it clear congress can mandate every single purchase we make if they wished to do so. Under your view there is nothing at all they can not force us to buy. And all they have to do force the purchase is say, “Commerce!”.

And if you can’t smell how ridiculous that is when it comes to original intent of the authors of the Constitution, you are the one with a broken sense of smell.

That doesn’t necessarily make it a commerce clause issue. Congress can impose mandates under other Article I powers.

It does when that is the reason they made the law under the hypothetical I gave.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 3, 2011 at 7:04 PM

It is not possible to not cross county lines in redistricting if representation is based on population distribution.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:14 PM

I wonder if we will be required to buy a GM Volt?

CWforFreedom on March 3, 2011 at 7:18 PM

It is not possible to not cross county lines in redistricting if representation is based on population distribution.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:14 PM

Let me rephrase that question…what I was thinking was that if the Congressional district had to include entire counties and so on like this article dealing with North Carolina districting:

http://polifrog.com/2010/11/17/breaking-the-cycle-of-nc-gerrymandering/

Dr. ZhivBlago on March 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM

No, your view does not allow for any limitations on congress under the commerce clause. Your view makes it clear congress can mandate every single purchase we make if they wished to do so. Under your view there is nothing at all they can not force us to buy. And all they have to do force the purchase is say, “Commerce!”.

Well I guess that’s the problem with the internet, isn’t it? I can list limits and you can simply pretend you didn’t see them.

And if you can’t smell how ridiculous that is when it comes to original intent of the authors of the Constitution, you are the one with a broken sense of smell.

Did you read the link I posted above? Congress mandated that citizens purchase firearms…in 1792. The bill was signed by George Washington.

It does when that is the reason they made the law under the hypothetical I gave.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:12 PM

You didn’t mention the Commerce clause in your original post. You just said “Can Congress do this…”

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Did you read the link I posted above? Congress mandated that citizens purchase firearms…in 1792. The bill was signed by George Washington.

That was not a commerce clause law. And it is debatable whether or not it was constitutional. No case law concerning that law exists though.

You didn’t mention the Commerce clause in your original post. You just said “Can Congress do this…”

One of the favorite tactics of those who don’t wish to be honest; deliberate obtuseness.

Well I guess that’s the problem with the internet, isn’t it? I can list limits and you can simply pretend you didn’t see them.

So name one thing congress can not mandate we buy.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

Healthcare Law is resolved in the upper courts. About half of my family lives in Canada and they can’t understand why people are calling the healthcare act as being Socialism.. It cost half as much for there healthcare and the people live longer. I personally think that it is because they don’t allow false and misleading news in Canada. ie Fox news

I believe it was Justin Beiber who posted that.

parteagirl on March 3, 2011 at 7:47 PM

One side of the mule-team is pulling hard to the left always, with every waking moment, at every opportunity – and the other side of the mule-team is simply pulling straight-ahead. The result is that sometimes the wagon lurches left (when both sides of the team happen to uphold something that favors the left) and sometimes it merely pulls left (when libs continue to pull hard to the left by the cons simply pull straight), but it’s always and ever an unrelenting movement to the left.

Midas on March 3, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Best analogy I’ve ever read.

Who is John Galt on March 3, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Judge Vinson is a rock star. Courageous to actually apply the law in a legal case these days. Clearly the administration never saw that coming. May they be so surprised many more times in the next two years.

Freelancer on March 3, 2011 at 8:39 PM

My point is that I think Congress can regulate inactivity…
Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM

let them phuqing try

darwin-t on March 3, 2011 at 9:04 PM

No, not necessarily.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Every purchase outside of Bibles, illegal narcotics, and a few other choice examples. Does that work better?

Good Solid B-Plus on March 3, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Anyone who owns anything is a potential seller. Does the government have the right to force me to sell those things? Even to people I don’t want to sell them to? I’m just not choosing to sell those things right now. I’m not engaging in commerce and the government cannot regulate inactivity, it says so right in the Constitution in the “government cannot regulate inactivity clause” of Article 19.

Proud Rino on March 3, 2011 at 5:02 PM

You’re a Marxist – and you’re arguing for a world in which the government can get involved in anything you DO and DO NOT do.

Riddle me this batman – if NOT buying health insurance is an action governable by the commerce clause – then name ONE SINGLE THING on this planet that would not also be governed by it.

Once you cross the line and define “inaction” as “action” – then you’ve completely changed the rules of the game and opened the door to horrific tyranny in this nation.

The Federal Government needs to get the hell out of health care – period.

HondaV65 on March 3, 2011 at 9:19 PM

So name one thing congress can not mandate we buy.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 7:40 PM

A Quran and a brick of heroin. Just about everything else is fair game, though.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 3, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Here’s an interesting breakdown of some of Judge Vinson’s own words.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=181473

I was trying to recall where I had read a decision with similar wording, where the Judge/Justice politely said that the respondent’s “argument” was garbage, then politely asked them to try again.

Then I remembered it-in 2000 the all-Democrat Florida Supreme Court injected itself into the Bush V Gore case, despite the fact that neither side had asked them to do so. Judicial Activism at its finest.

SCOTUS smacked down their first “ruling”, 9-0. Then SCOTUS politely asked them to try again. They did. And were smacked down again, 7-2.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

A Quran and a brick of heroin. Just about everything else is fair game, though.

Good Solid B-Plus on March 3, 2011 at 9:21 PM

A Quran I understand. However, buying a Quran does not necesarily mean promotion of Islam. We are talking about the commerce clause here. What if congress invented a lame commercial reason for everyone to buy a Quran? If one believes that congress can mandate a purchase under the commerce clause, they can mandate any purchase with the excuse of commercial activity.

And why not a brick of heroin? What clause in the constitution covers freedom of drug use? Heroin is legal by law and congress could change that.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 9:27 PM

And why not a brick of heroin? What clause in the constitution covers freedom of drug use? Heroin is legal by law and congress could change that.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Illegal by law.

NotCoach on March 3, 2011 at 9:30 PM

LOL … any idiot who thinks that NOT buying something is an action governable by the commerce clause is arguing for a nation governed by …

The commerce clause.

HondaV65 on March 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM

any idiot who thinks that NOT buying something is an action governable by the commerce clause is arguing for a nation governed by …

The commerce clause.

HondaV65 on March 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS2khYJZKwA

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 10:27 PM

You’d be better off doing your typical routine of sniping from the sidelines, and rehashing talking points from the early to mid 2000′s (Bush v. Gore was 7-2! A federal court found a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq! etc etc).

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM

I was trying to recall where I had read a decision with similar wording, where the Judge/Justice politely said that the respondent’s “argument” was garbage, then politely asked them to try again.

Then I remembered it-in 2000 the all-Democrat Florida Supreme Court injected itself into the Bush V Gore case, despite the fact that neither side had asked them to do so. Judicial Activism at its finest.
SCOTUS smacked down their first “ruling”, 9-0. Then SCOTUS politely asked them to try again. They did. And were smacked down again, 7-2.

Del Dolemonte on March 3, 2011 at 9:23 PM

Thanks, Del.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

Thanks, Del.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

So, got anything besides illegal items and explicitly religious objects that are outside the realm of a government mandate?

Good Solid B-Plus on March 4, 2011 at 3:23 AM

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 11:38 PM

You never answered my earlier question-would you approve of the government forcing you to buy an American flag, or a copy of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence?

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM

You never answered my earlier question-would you approve of the government forcing you to buy an American flag, or a copy of the Constitution or Declaration of Independence?

Del Dolemonte on March 4, 2011 at 10:06 AM

No, I wouldn’t approve of that.

So, got anything besides illegal items and explicitly religious objects that are outside the realm of a government mandate?

Good Solid B-Plus on March 4, 2011 at 3:23 AM

It all depends on the facts, doesn’t it? There are countless things that would probably be outside the realm of a mandate, since Congress wouldn’t have a rational basis for determining that there’s an interstate market for them. But it’s impossible to delineate what would fall into that category without knowing the facts of the particular case.

Of course there are still other obvious things the government could never mandate that you buy because of express Constitutional prohibitions, for example…Congress could never mandate the purchase of a human being (13th amendment).

crr6 on March 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Reason explains it for the media and other fools.

Schadenfreude on March 4, 2011 at 3:06 PM

All sorts of things would be barred by the DPC, or the Establishment clause. So they couldn’t force you to join a church or worship a God. They couldn’t force you to get up at a certain time, or pursue a certain profession.

crr6 on March 3, 2011 at 6:17 PM

Just had to ask here, based on your opinion that the commerce clause covers lack of activity that can’t possibly be seen by any reasonable prudent person as interstate commerce (the purchase of health insurance within the same state I live in), why can’t the govt force me into a particular profession?

Do you know how many people pursue higher education out of state? It’s why there are things like in-state and out-of-state tuition (surely a college student is aware of this).

Given that a graduate will likely eventually graduate and get a job, and given that such an exercise is explicitly within the realm of commerce (especially if the grad takes a private sector job), and given that many professions (or in your opinion, ALL professions) will somehow engage in commerce across state lines, why do you think there should be a limit here?

And for a really good example of this, suppose a dire prediction comes true and 40% of doctors quit due to onerous govt regulations. Is there anything that could prevent the govt from forcing these doctors to continue to practice? Is there anything that would limit the govt from demanding particular specialties be pursued by med students who are taking federal student loans? By all your stated logic, there are no limits here. The govt can do whatever it likes, because of the commerce clause and the NPC.

runawayyyy on March 4, 2011 at 5:42 PM

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