Does the ObamaCare individual mandate make contracts unenforceable?

posted at 11:00 am on February 28, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

I must admit that until I heard this argument from the Institute for Justice, I never considered the implications of ObamaCare requiring individuals to sign contracts for insurance coverage.  In any other context, signing a contract under threat of force constitutes duress, which negates the contract under centuries-old legal standards.  What happens when government applies the threat of force, through fines and presumably an eventual jail sentence for non-compliance?  IJ has filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court asking this very question, and constitutional law professor Elizabeth Price Foley explains that the individual mandate violates the principle of mutual assent:

Constitutional law professor Elizabeth Price Foley, who is the executive director of the Institute’s Florida Chapter and who co-authored IJ’s brief, said, “The individual mandate violates a cardinal rule of contract law—to be enforceable, all agreements must be voluntary. The Framers understood this, and would never have given the federal government the power to force individuals into lifelong contracts of insurance. The Court should not allow the government to exercise this unprecedented and dangerous power.”

As IJ’s brief shows, the principle of mutual assent, under which both parties must consent for a contract to be valid, is a fundamental principle of contract law that was well understood during the Founding era and is still a cornerstone of contract law today. Indeed, contracts entered under duress have long been held to be invalid. Yet the mandate forces individuals to enter into contracts of insurance that would never be valid under this longstanding principle. (For a copy of IJ’s brief, visit: www.ij.org/PPACAbrief.)

If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to strike down the individual mandate, there will be nothing to stop Congress from forcing people into other contracts against their will—employment contracts or union membership, for example. If we still have a constitutional republic in which the federal government’s powers are limited, then the Court should strike down this law.

The Institute for Justice’s brief is the only amicus brief filed with the Court that examines this case in the context of the history of contract law. The brief illustrates how the Supreme Court has recognized the principle of consent in commercial relations in its Commerce Clause and Tenth Amendment cases, and it explains why the U.S. Supreme Court has a key role in acting as a check against this unconstitutional power grab by the federal government.

Bart Hinkle at the Richmond Times-Dispatch extends the background on the amicus claim:

From Hugo Grotius in the 17th century through William Story in the 19th and up to the present, legal doctrine has held that contracts are not valid unless they are entered into by mutual assent. If one party signs a contract as the result of fraud or under duress, it cannot be valid. But if Congress compels people to buy insurance policies — not as a precondition of exercising a privilege such as driving, but as a consequence of having been born — then, the institute argues, this would undermine centuries of contract law.

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are apt to say overturning it would amount to judicial activism — that the judiciary ought to defer to the political branches. But the institute’s Clark Neily and Dick Carpenter show in their September study, “Government Unchecked,” that the courts have been, if anything, too deferential. They find that during the past half-century the Supreme Court has struck down only 103 out of the 15,817 laws passed by Congress, and less than one-twentieth of 1 percent of the more than 1 million state laws passed during the same period. In any given year, the Supremes will strike down only three out of every 5,000 laws enacted around the country.

Foley’s point in the video is well taken.  If the individual mandate passes muster because duress does not apply when the federal government applies it, then the courts will have given carte blanche to tyranny.  Where does that power end?  Buying cars certainly implicates interstate commerce; will the government have the power to force us to sign purchase contracts for Chevy Volts?  What would be the difference between that and health insurance?  Thanks to the bailouts, the government has an enduring stake in GM, and at some point in time every person needs transportation, even if they are perfectly satisfied with riding a bike or hailing a cab now.

Here’s an even more interesting question.  If coercion negates these contracts, as it should, then the insurance company won’t be under any obligation to pay for your health care, either.  After all, ObamaCare forces them to accept all applicants now, regardless of pre-existing conditions, so they too are under duress.  Americans might be buying a lot of vaporware in 2014 if a later court decides to stay on the side of centuries of precedent.


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Come on now, someone go first.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

More single payer.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Come on guys say something.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Boom! Taste her nightstick!

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

This isn’t funny.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

If Obama can make contraceptives free, there’s nothing he can’t do.

SlaveDog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Interesting. First Bankruptcy law (al la GM payouts) now contract law. Sounds like a plan.

NaCly dog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Even Ginsberg will have trouble defeating the coercion argument. But she will try.

BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Well, the Obama administration has shown no regard for the law in many other respects. The abuse of the bankruptcy law to steal from bondholders and reward the UAW leaps to mind.

But this point regarding coercion and contracts is a long established principle of common law. If the government can disregard this principle, I don’t see how its authority to ignore any other principle of law can be denied.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Boom! Taste her nightstick!

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Thank you. I was starting to worry I was the only one here. I waited and waited not wanting to play the first game and get on Ed’s nerves. Played it anyway. Sorry Ed.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

NaCly dog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Great minds think alike.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Constitution Schmonstitution. “I know what’s best”, Barry Sotoro.

LeftCoastRight on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

This is what the Libs don’t get. The entire system ceases to resemble anything like we’re accustomed to once you start “mandating” behavior.

Cue liberal retort of how “this is just like car insurance” in 3…2…1…

CycloneCDB on February 28, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Considering they ignored centuries of bankruptcy law with the auto bailouts, I don’t think this will bother them too much.

John Deaux on February 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Even Ginsberg will have trouble defeating the coercion argument. But she will try.
BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

If she can stay awake long enough.

tommyboy on February 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM

You silly prols. What makes you think you have individual rights? Your existence is to work for the benefit of the collective. Thank goodness really smart people are running the collective.

John the Libertarian on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Does federal, or any state, law mandate that all emergency rooms treat all comers? If so, would not that be entering into a service contract with the patient under durress?

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

If you stop breathing, you can get out of the contract, I think….

RBMN on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are apt to say overturning it would amount to judicial activism — that the judiciary ought to defer to the political branches.

“Supporters of the Affordable Care Act” (aka Liberals) don’t seem to share that same opinion when it comes to, say Roe v. Wade.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Interesting. First Bankruptcy law (al la GM payouts) now contract law. Sounds like a plan.

NaCly dog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Perhaps Obama could have a bunch of OWSers assemble outside SCOTUS with pitchforks.

Wethal on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Cripe, I feel better now/

cmsinaz on February 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Barackus of Borg: Resistance is futile.

BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Freaking sweet! I wonder if any of Obama’s legal team ever went to law school? They probably studied under the One….HA!

Patriot Vet on February 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Come on…there are a thousand reasons why Obamacare is unconstitutional and the Liberals know it. They just need it to be in place long enough to force the insurance companies out of business (or be bailed out and owned by the Gov) so we can go ahead and move to single payer. There is a quote by Obama saying this at one point…that he sees us moving to single payer in 10, 15, or 20 years but we need a bridge to get us there. Obamacare is the bridge. We’re fighting these little tactical battles hoping for a win but losing the war. It’s sad.

Youngs98 on February 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Come on, people, please please please vote for Ron Paul and help us put and end to Obama/Romneycare. Let’s not replace an authoritarian Democrat with an authoritarian Republican, they are variations of the same theme. While it may appeal to some to shove the Republican brand of big-gov down the Democrats throats once again, why not take the high road and go back to an American form of government and reunite the country under the banner of freedom and liberty instead. To hell with European socialists and corporatists that have taken over our political class, let’s throw them all under the bus.

FloatingRock on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

The last paragraph is, perhaps uniquely for Ed, poorly considered. Nobody need offer a contract of insurance even under Obamacare. The Insurance company is free to go into the lemonade stand business.

The point on the individual mandate is however compelling. It is another (and quite clever) way of putting the limitation of powers argument.

levi from queens on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Things would be a lot easier if Barry was just named Dictator.

GarandFan on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Does federal, or any state, law mandate that all emergency rooms treat all comers? If so, would not that be entering into a service contract with the patient under durress?

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I think all hospitals get some federal funding and this might be one of the strings attached.

Wethal on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Whatever. The Regime shat all over centuries of bankruptcy law regarding the UAW and the auto bailouts and the Court did nothing. What makes anyone think it will be different regarding contract law is beyond me.

Spliff Menendez on February 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

The Insurance company is free to go into the lemonade stand business.
levi from queens on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Isn’t that really 0′s goal.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

NaCly dog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05

Yes, the crack in the dam.

All_In on February 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

ObamaCare has never been about healthcare. Does anyone doubt this?

troyriser_gopftw on February 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Barackus of Borg: Resistance is futile.

BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

And his laser eye is focused….
Like a laser show at a Pink Floyd concert.

Electrongod on February 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I’ll just wait for the Government to decide what’s best for me.
Did they mention free pot?

Kenosha Kid on February 28, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Really interesting line of thought. If you don’t enter into a contract freely, then is it a contract. You could say that’s what’s wrong with Socialism — people aren’t free to opt out of it. Then your personhood is gone. Who are you if you can’t choose one thing over another. Or choose to choose nothing at all. You’re a table or a chair, a cog, an unthinking, dead thing.

Paul-Cincy on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Does federal, or any state, law mandate that all emergency rooms treat all comers? If so, would not that be entering into a service contract with the patient under durress?

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I think all hospitals get some federal funding and this might be one of the strings attached.

Wethal on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Cap’n Ed, if you see this, can you comment on it?

Is this a law? Federal money coercing the ER to provide the service? Hypocratic oath?

Simple put, does hte federal government force doctors to serve others?

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Thank you. I was starting to worry I was the only one here. I waited and waited not wanting to play the first game and get on Ed’s nerves. Played it anyway. Sorry Ed.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Figured I’d read the article and watch the video before commenting. You know, be informed. (of course my post makes no use of the information, l0l)

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

They don’t care whether you sign/enter a contract or not. They will insure you with out it. What they want is for you to sign the checks paying for it. They want your money.

Blake on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Does the ObamaCare individual mandate make contracts unenforceable? Five votes it does, four votes it doesn’t.

David Blue on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I’m surprised at how well we’re taking the dismantling of our country. It’s like we’re British after WWII or something.

DanMan on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

You could say that’s what’s wrong with Socialism

Paul-Cincy on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Corporatism and religionism too. That’s the problem with all forms of big authoritarian government.

FloatingRock on February 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM

If coercion negates these contracts, as it should, then the insurance company won’t be under any obligation to pay for your health care, either. After all, ObamaCare forces them to accept all applicants now, regardless of pre-existing conditions, so they too are under duress.

Pretty solid reasoning there Ed, but I take one issue with it. Duress does not render a contract void, it renders it voidable. Using terms of art. Meaning one party must first declare the contract void to preserve court remedies. If both parties display substantial compliance there’s a reasonable argument to made that the contract has been affirmed as written. However, as you pointed out, this still creates the uncertainty as to whether the contract is enforceable at all, but once the parties begin to perform it’s likely an enforceable contract. The point being, one party must make the claim that the contract is void immediately or within a reasonable time before performance or the contract will stand. A party couldn’t jump out midway through and declare the contract void.

I say this with the disclosure that I don’t practice contract law, I’m only using what I remember from law school.

Meric1837 on February 28, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Only government at the state level can force people to enter into contracts against their will! – Romney

lorien1973 on February 28, 2012 at 11:20 AM

The Pea industry is breathlessly waiting.

samazf on February 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM

They dont care about the constitution. Its a game of ask forgiveness later. By the time Things get to the supreme court the issue is already put into motion . If he gets another four years he’s going to do everything he wants by executive fiat and possibly have the chance to appoint more liberal lifetime judges. No matter the nominee we’ve got to get this guy out. Repubs in congress dont have it in them to stop him. We badly need new leadership

ldbgcoleman on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

This is a good argument. I want to hear the argument for overturning just the mandate and leaving the rest intact since the severance clause was removed during crafting.

The people who wrote this knew that without the mandate the entire law was unworkable without it. What moron would pay for insurance he doesn’t need if the insurance company is forced to offer cover even after the proverbial house is on fire?

The removal of the severance clause was basically a dare to SCOTUS.

Mord on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I’d love to see a conservative Congresscritter bring a bill to the House floor that mandates ownership of a firearm.

CJ on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Wethal on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

There are at least two important components of the answer to the “Emergency Room” question.

A. Hospitals do “voluntarily” enter into contracts with CMS, to get somewhere in the ballpark of half the healthcare $ currently routed through Medicare, Medicaid etc.

B. Via EMTALA, emergency rooms are required to treat conditions which are a serious threat to life or limb, etc. So, if you walk in sweating with chest pain, you will get evaluated, meds, a cardiac cath if needed, etc. Show up with a headache, and the doc can legally check your vitals, give you some Tylenol or whatever and send you on your way.

cs89 on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I thought Obama wiped his behind with contract law when he rammed the auto bailout down the shareholders’ throat.

Archivarix on February 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

I don’t think they are required to treat all comers, but to treat all whose condition is potentially life-threatening. They are eligible for government funding to offset those costs. Many uninsured patients who present for treatment are eligible for Medicaid, for example. They do pose real burdens for hospitals though, as reimbursements under Medicaid and other programs do not cover all the costs.

It was none other than Michell Obama while employed by the University of Chicago Medical Center who crafted a plan to send to other hospitals as quickly as possible those uninsured patients who appeared at their emergency center. There were many complaints that UCMC transferred patients to other facilities whose conditions had not been stabilized, at great risk to the patients.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I just glad that someone took this position and ran with it. This clearly puts the Supremes into a rather different frame of mind with this amicus brief going straight to the heart of contract law. This is going to be interesting, pass the popcorn.

D-fusit on February 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I’m surprised at how well we’re taking the dismantling of our country. It’s like we’re British after WWII or something.

DanMan on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Both parties continue down the same roads (to the left) they’ve been on for decades like nothing is amiss. People come to places like this and see all of the bad things both parties are doing and complain then go out and vote for more.

FloatingRock on February 28, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Via EMTALA, …

cs89 on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

My guess ERs do NOT want to deal with the issues of turning away patients, so it is easier to accept EMTALA and get paid at least some of their costs all the time. Turning away patients for the prospect of not getting paid would probably be expensive in terms of legal suits.

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Figured I’d read the article and watch the video before commenting. You know, be informed. (of course my post makes no use of the information, l0l)

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Yeah, I usually just read everything in one widow. While listening or watching with another window. I finished reading fairly quickly, it wasn’t very much reading. So I thought, well the game gets on some peoples nerves, you know, so I refresh over and over on yet another window and no one was commenting. It happens, guess I should have played and gone for a record six.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Well, the Obama administration has shown no regard for the law in many other respects. The abuse of the bankruptcy law to steal from bondholders and reward the UAW leaps to mind.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:07 AM

I wonder if the bondholders ever bothered to sue the gubbermint for this breach of contract.

timberline on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

If the argument holds, then they will go back to the idea that “it’s a tax”. Then, when people realize it’s a tax, they will argue it’s not a tax.

yubley on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Mord on February 28, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I will admit that severance clauses are largely a formality without some accompanying legislative intent language, but that doesn’t mean the Court won’t consider it. What I think is more compelling is for a law to stand once a part of it has been severed, the original intent of the law must still be possible. If by removing a part of a law you turn it into an unstoppable trainwreck, the court will throw the whole thing out.

Here, the healthcare law will be unworkable without the mandate. I saw “unworkable” as to the original intent. Without the mandate the law cannot function properly because it destroys the risk pools. Without the mandate you get the “buying insurance only when you’re sick because they can’t turn you down.” That will bankrupt any private insurance company and the Justices understand that. Can’t have coverage if there’s no companies to cover you (creating single-payer would be beyond the scope of this law so that wouldn’t apply). So I think they’ll throw the whole thing out.

Meric1837 on February 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

There were many complaints that UCMC transferred patients to other facilities whose conditions had not been stabilized, at great risk to the patients.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Forgot about that story. The patients were probably sent to Stroger\Cook County Hospital.

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM

And y’all laugh at a certain date on a certain calender!

15000+ laws in 50 years????

marinetbryant on February 28, 2012 at 11:33 AM

The last paragraph is, perhaps uniquely for Ed, poorly considered. Nobody need offer a contract of insurance even under Obamacare. The Insurance company is free to go into the lemonade stand business.

levi from queens on February 28, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Except they’re not in the lemonade stand business, they’re in the insurance business. And while Obama’s long-term goal might be to regulate them out of business to bring in single payer, there is a unanimous SCOTUS case, Duquesne Light, that says you can’t regulate a legitimate business out of business; this is an unconstitutional taking and violation of due process.

(Whether SCOTUS would follow this precedent is another matter; it’s about two decades old, and justices have come and gone since then.)

Wethal on February 28, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Yeah, I usually just read everything in one widow. While listening or watching with another window. I finished reading fairly quickly, it wasn’t very much reading. So I thought, well the game gets on some peoples nerves, you know, so I refresh over and over on yet another window and no one was commenting. It happens, guess I should have played and gone for a record six.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Or, you know, gave it five minutes for everyone else to A) notice the post, B) read it, C) watch the video, D) decide to respond.

The post went up at 11:00, I posted at 11:05. Just be a little patient. No need to spam the opening of a thread because it doesn’t take off in the first 3 minutes.

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Interesting. First Bankruptcy law (al la GM payouts) now contract law. Sounds like a plan.

NaCly dog on February 28, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Fundamental transformation. Property rights are so yesterday.

I’m surprised at how well we’re taking the dismantling of our country.
DanMan on February 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Depressing, isn’t it.

petefrt on February 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I wonder if the bondholders ever bothered to sue the gubbermint for this breach of contract.
timberline on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Obama threatened their brokers not to object to this in the Bky proceedings. Thus, they waived any claims they may have had.

tommyboy on February 28, 2012 at 11:36 AM

WashJeff on February 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Virtually all hospitals are “participating providers” (i.e., jump through necessary hoops to get paid by CMS- Medicare, Medicaid for treatment of covered patients). Here’s more on the law, passed in the ’80s to deal with “patient dumping.”

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

If this legal argument moves forward, you can bet EMTALA, access to care etc. will be one of the central arguments- and a major appeal to emotion, etc. by Obamacare supporters.

cs89 on February 28, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I’d love to see a conservative Congresscritter bring a bill to the House floor that mandates ownership of a firearm.

CJ on February 28, 2012 at 11:23 AM

That’s what I’ve been saying…
Plus I’m a woman, I need protection/
So I need FREE bullets!

MontanaMmmm on February 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Guys… OMG this “constitution” thing – it’s, like really old, you know? Those old white guys that like wrote it didn’t know about things like iPhones and stuff.
/s

bofh on February 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

timberline on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The bondholders got screwed in bankruptcy court. They had no other recourse.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Interesting. InTrade is only showing a 35-43% chance of the mandate being overturned by 12/31/2012. That’s pretty low considering Rasmussen’s 70%+ Obamacare repeal support.
:
Intrade Mandate Overturned

HopeHeFails on February 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

bofh on February 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Meghan McCain, is that you?

NotCoach on February 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Guys… OMG this “constitution” thing – it’s, like really old, you know? Those old white guys that like wrote it didn’t know about things like iPhones and stuff.
/s

bofh on February 28, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Yes! It’s suppose to be a breathing, evolving, ovulating document or something…

Blake on February 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Buying cars certainly implicates interstate commerce…

Ed, do you support the expansive view of the CC? An originalist reading of the CC would only mean that Congress can keep MI from imposing an export tax on cars made in Detroit bound for other states. It wouldn’t give Congress carte blanche to regulate every aspect of automobile manufacturing just because they sell cars outside of MI.

That’s the reasoning Congress uses to regulate how much water your toilet can flush and to ban the incandescent light bulb.

Rein it in!

Charlemagne on February 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Pattosensei on February 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Thanks, I am trying to be more patient. Its a virtue, I have always been in short supply of. Especially with anything 0.

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:41 AM

This is just another example of Jihad against the American way of life. Sharia law will evolve by the efforts of Comrade Obama et. al. !!

Marco on February 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Where is that quote from Pelosi about “Are you serious” when you need it?

txmomof6 on February 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Where’s that spitfire commenter ElenaKagan feller hidin’?

He’ll give ya what for ‘n tell ya’ll why you should buy bulk kneepads or somethin’.

VibrioCocci on February 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

The blacked-robed liberals will argue that coercion does not apply here because you are not buying the contracts directly from the government but from an “independent” insurance provider….

“Nice tax return you have there…sure would be terrible if something happened to it….now sign on the dotted line!”

powerpickle on February 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

HopeHeFails on February 28, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The 70% metric is the percentage who want it overturned. The lower percentage is the percentage who think it will be overturned.

Apples and oranges.

BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

What if we all just refuse? We refuse to be insured and we refuse to pay fines. They can not throw us all in jail.

dmn1972 on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

872 views on YT, when I bookmarked it.
This needs to be seen by everyone, IMO.
Thanks, Ed.

RedCrow on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Widespread. Civil. Disobedience.

Bulletchaser on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Roe v. Wade.

Bitter Clinger on February 28, 2012 at 11:11 AM

I was thinking contraception, they could force you to have health insurance for contraception. Oh wait …

Hope on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

timberline on February 28, 2012 at 11:30 AM

The bondholders got screwed in bankruptcy court. They had no other recourse.

novaculus on February 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM

They tried to take it to the Supremes, but Ginsberg denied cert, IIRC.

txmomof6 on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

States are the proper crucibles for this kind of experimentation.

But when the federal government mandates it to all states it becomes an unconstitutional over-reach.

Obamacare is an illegal abuse of federal powers.

profitsbeard on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Where’s that spitfire commenter ElenaKagan feller hidin’?

He’ll give ya what for ‘n tell ya’ll why you should buy bulk kneepads or somethin’.

VibrioCocci on February 28, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Checking inventory?

Bmore on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Can’t have coverage if there’s no companies to cover you (creating single-payer would be beyond the scope of this law so that wouldn’t apply). So I think they’ll throw the whole thing out.

Meric1837 on February 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Thanks for the information, I have no idea how courts and law work but it’s fun to pick up information here and there from people who know more.

I’d be pretty surprised if they throw the whole thing out for some reason that boils down to just a gut feeling. Imagine the liberal freakout that will ensue if they do! We’ll have MSM talking heads on suicide watch and Chris Matthews will probably have a stroke..

Mord on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

They have a plan and they have been enacting it for 60+ years. We cannot negotiate with these people. They must be replaced by conservatives to reverse the course. 2012 is a critically important election for this country – in oh so many ways.

jb34461 on February 28, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Social Security and Medicare are what if not involuntary insurance programs.

libfreeordie on February 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

States are the proper crucibles for this kind of experimentation
States are the proper crucibles for this kind of experimentation.

But when the federal government mandates it to all states it becomes an unconstitutional over-reach.

Obamacare is an illegal abuse of federal powers.

profitsbeard on February 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I really don’t like anyone experimenting with my freedom.

MontanaMmmm on February 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

The Court should not allow the government to exercise this unprecedented and dangerous power.”

It is perhaps not unprecedented.

Up until Dec. 6, 1985, slaves were subject to life long personal service contracts involuntarily.

MessesWithTexas on February 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM

What if we all just refuse? We refuse to be insured and we refuse to pay fines. They can not throw us all in jail.

dmn1972 on February 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Something I’ve thought for a long time now is that today’s US government can only survive all of its excesses and nullification of our rights by keeping the various “constituancies” of the middle class fighting amongst each other.

You are probably correct. They’d have to ditch Odumbocare. But having everyone agree to ignore it would never happen.

RedCrow on February 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Even Ginsberg will have trouble defeating the coercion argument. But she will try.

BobMbx on February 28, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The first thought that came to my mind too. I tried to get into her mind. She was vexed I’ll tell you. :) I don’t think “it’s a tax” will fly, because it IS a contract. She may point to some government exception. I know she REALLY wants to make it work. She WILL try. I don’t want to hear her talk about South Africa’s wonderful Constitution.

I don’t know much about the law, but I sense it’s important to have a good argument, the right argument, and I like this one. :)

Paul-Cincy on February 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

The Institute for justice just got slapped with an audit.
Nobody questions dear leader and gets away with it.

ouldbollix on February 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

RedCrow on February 28, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Everyone wouldn’t have to, just enough to make it impossible to enforce.

dmn1972 on February 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Everyone wouldn’t have to, just enough to make it impossible to enforce.

dmn1972 on February 28, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Okay.
Are we gonna start a petition, or what?

RedCrow on February 28, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Social Security and Medicare are what if not involuntary insurance programs.

libfreeordie on February 28, 2012 at 11:47 AM

So as a supporter of Liberty, are you saying we should make them voluntary?

Chip on February 28, 2012 at 11:54 AM

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