He predicted, “We have years before any future Congress is going to work up the nerve to do anything like a broccoli mandate. If we don’t change the political and legal culture between now and then, broccoli mandates are going to be the least of our worries.”
Despite the adverse policy outcome for supporters of limited government, Barnett said the decision advanced the legal cause for limited government.
“Congress can’t do whatever it wants,” he said. “Under this ruling, Congress can’t put you in jail for violating a future economic mandate. This holding stands for that proposition. Congress also can’t coerce states by withholding all existing Medicaid funding unless they agree to new coverage. That’s a constraint the Court has never enforced before. And the Necessary and Proper Clause cannot be used to salvage these laws. And that’s a ruling we haven’t had before.”
He continued, “This is big. And it’s only the stinging disappointment of not being able to take down Obamacare that conceals how big this was. Every one of our arguments got accepted by five justices. Every one.”