Supporters of Obamacare received more bad news on Friday, August 12, 2011, when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the individual mandate in it is unconstitutional. In supporting the United States Constitution as it is written, the court strongly rejected the Obama Administration's argument that the powers of Congress are unlimited.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the U.S. Constitution with the intent to protect the personal freedoms of the people from the powers of government. For this reason, they restricted the powers of Congress to what are called "the enumerated powers" - the power to tax, pay debt, coin money, etc. Congress has broadened their powers over the last one hundred years by asserting the Commerce clause: "The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the States, and with the Indian Tribes."
The Obama Administration is not yet willing to accept this court ruling because the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Obamacare. The administration is trying to claim partisanship, but one of the writers of the ruling was Judge Frank Hull, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
The Heritage Foundation published a statement written by Todd Gaziano [blog.heritage.org/2011] on August 12, 2011, that explains what this court decision means for the future of Obamacare: "In short, the Obama administration has lost its battle to delay review of the individual mandate until after the 2012 election. Until today, there was at least a change that the Supreme Court would pass on the case until after its forthcoming term, but now, with a split between the Eleventh Circuit and Sixth Circuit, the High Court will have little choice but to take the case and resolve the fate of the forced-purchase mandate. After over a year of delaying tactics, the Obama Administration has no more options to slow-walk the constitutional end-game for the mandate. Our best estimate is that the case will be argued either in late March or in April 2012. The Court will issue its decision near the end of its term in June, during the presidential candidate nominating season.
"The Eleventh Circuit's opinion is also a carefully conceived and tightly reasoned opinion that properly and narrowly addresses the issue before the court, without broad gestures or the irrelevant policy discussions in the Sixth Circuit's opinion. More than merely a judgment, it is a persuasive and elegant affirmation of our constitutional structure, one that may even sway the high court's liberal wing in its concern for liberty and political accountability.
"Another significance of today's decision is that it provides a roadmap for the Supreme Court on how to strike down the individual mandate provision and still save part of the Obamacare law….
"Finally, not only is the majority opinion thorough and rigorous, its conclusion is crisp and precise: `[T]he individual mandate is breathtaking in its expansive scope. It regulates those who have not entered the health care market at all. It regulates those who have entered the health care market, but have not entered the insurance market (and have no intention of doing so). It is over inclusive in when it regulates: it conflates those who presently consume health care with those who will not consume health care for many years into the future. The government's position amounts to an argument that the mere fact of an individual's existence substantially affects interstate commerce, and therefore Congress may regulate them at every point of their life. This theory affords no limiting principles in which to confine Congress's enumerated power….
"`The federal government's assertion of power, under the Commerce Clause, to issue an economic mandate for Americans to purchase insurance from a private company for the entire duration lives is unprecedented, lacks cognizable limits, and imperils our federalist structure.'
"Bravo. In answer to Ben Franklin's famous question: we still have a republic…."
It is almost certain that the next battle in the war against Obamacare will take place in the U.S. Supreme Court where nine Justices will hear the arguments. Since the Court is divided in their political views, the final ruling may come down to the decision of one Justice. We must pray that the majority of Justices will see the dangers of Obamacare clearly and clearly stop this effort by liberals/progress to give the federal government absolute power to control and regulate our entire lives.
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