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ObamaCare is Constitutional-SCOTUS Says So?

The oft-repeated statement that ‘ACA is Constitutional’ is a broad-sweeping and erroneous rationalization that ObamaCare is the ‘law of the land’—far from it. The Supreme Court ruled on only one very small (albeit pivotal) point in Obama’s Affordable Care Act, as reported by New York Times’, Adam Liptak, “The Supreme Court … upheld President Obama’s health care overhaul law, saying its requirement that most Americans obtain insurance or pay a penalty was authorized by Congress’s power to levy taxes.”  With over 2,000 pages and still growing, plus another 70,000 pages (and growing) accompanying legislation, departmental regulations and rules; and in spite of the writer’s misleading assertion to the contrary, ACA is far from passing Constitutional muster on an overwhelming portion of its legislation.

Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

A penalty is a tax and Congress is in charge of taxing, so the Supreme Court cannot ‘forbid it’. There is so much wrong with that statement, it boggles the mind. Let’s take his statement point-by-point: “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty…” Penalty:  a punishment imposed for breaking a law, rule, or contract. If the law says you have to buy something and you fail to do so, you pay a fine. Is there any precedence for a law that requires anyone to buy anything within the normal course of their life? If you choose to own and drive a car, it is generally agreed that you must buy insurance. But if you choose not to own or drive a car, as millions do, you are not required to pay a penalty for not owning insurance.

“…for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.” Tax: a compulsory contribution to state revenue levied by the government on workers' income and business profits or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions. By what, or whose reason does a penalty equate to a tax? Here is where Roberts’ determination falls under much conjecture.  Is he nuts? Did he accept a bribe? Was his family kidnapped? What would make a man of seemingly superior intellect suddenly make such an illogical statement?  A penalty is to a tax, what a shoe is to a hat. In the latter, they are both articles of clothing; in the former, they both come out of your pocket. Otherwise they are totally different; not interchangeable in any practical application. We don’t need a man in a black robe to contort and obfuscate commonly accepted definitions. He should be clarifying and distinguishing these points.

“Because the Constitution permits such a tax,” exactly where in the Constitution, Chief Roberts, does the Constitution specifically PERMIT a tax/penalty upon individuals for NOT buying a particular product?

” … it is not our role to forbid it,” is an astute overstatement of the obvious. Exactly, what is the role of the Supreme Court, Mr. Roberts? According to Scholastic: “[The Supreme Court] can tell a President that his actions are not allowed by the Constitution. It can tell Congress that a law it passed violated the U.S. Constitution and is, therefore, no longer a law. It can also tell the government of a state that one of its laws breaks a rule in the Constitution.”

Even if the Constitution tells a president he cannot sign a specific bill into law, does not mean he cannot do it. It does, however, give us official justification to ignore it. And because of his Oath of Office, the president is duty-bound to honor the limitations of the Constitution. However, if he chooses not to, there is apparently no penalty.

Scholastic: “The Supreme Court is the final judge in all cases involving laws of Congress, and the highest law of all — the Constitution.” The Supreme Court does not FORBID anything. It does not have that authority. That’s the job of the Constitution, and it is the President’s and Congress’s duty to obey the Constitution.

“…or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.” This last comment is most curious. Why did Chief Justice Roberts end his decision with this phrase? Is he questioning the ‘wisdom or fairness’ of the ‘penalty/tax’? Or is he implying there is no wisdom or fairness in applying this law? Forcing someone to buy something they do not wish to buy violates every principle upon which our Constitution and Republic are based. We don’t need a supreme court to stipulate otherwise, or twist definitions to meet an unspecified ideological agenda. We just know in our gut, and in our heart, it’s not right.

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Comment by Terry Trussell on March 19, 2014 at 4:49pm

Gail,you have a firm grasp on these matters and have arrived at an astute conclusion. I might suggest 'voting' isn't going to solve the problem, We need a major 'reset'. We must reboot our whole system, revert to our original Constitution, and get back on the right path. The 'pretenders to power' in the current administration (as well as those in all administrations dating back to 1887) must atone for their sins (like paying back the $17T debt, they created) and we can get on with running our Republic without such alliances/millstones as the Fed, UN, IRS, Welfare, Social Security, Income Tax, etc.

Comment by Gail on March 19, 2014 at 2:38am

Roberts is a most corrupt justice.  To understand how the court could have passed the ACA/Obamacare, you need to know about a Supreme Court case called Marbury v. Madison where the Court ASSUMED the unconstitutional POWER to say what the law is.  Then you need to know about Mc Culloch v. Maryland when the court threw out the constitution, saying that America's Constitution is not its written Constitution (which it called the instrument), but rather its laws and judicial precedents are the constitution, and thus form the law of the land.

It was a bloodless coup d etat where our Constitutional Republic with its "Law of the land" was tossed and replaced by Common Law, following the British form of government.  Britain says that it has a Constitution, but it is not a written one like ours WAS.  It is a collection of laws and precedent.

What is precedent?  Let's say that a president, congress, or the court passes an unconstitutional law.  That becomes precedent.  If the Court says it is law, it stands as the unwritten constitution that it is part of, until or unless a future court changes its mind.

"...or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness" is the Courts way of saying that the law is unfair.  But he is not wrong in that.  It IS not the Court's role to determine what is fair or not.  It has no responsibility to.  He neglects to say that it is the Courts responsibility to protect and defend the (written) Constitution because thanks the Marbury v. Madison and Mc Culloch v. Maryland, he no longer has to.

You won't find an elected person from either of the major parties who is willing to campaign against judicial review.  All representatives hide behind it because it allows them to pass unconstitutional laws that the Courts can then authorize.

If we want to fix these things, we need to know more than just in our gut or in our heart that something is wrong.  We need to know the specifics, the cases, and the route our govenment traveled as it tramples upon us and the Constitution that was supposed to have been our protection.

WE ALSO NEED TO STOP VOTING FOR CANDIDATES FROM EITHER OF THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES!  They are in cahoots, and the anger that you see from both sides is a way for them to manipulate them into continuing what doesn't work.   Anger gets people into voting booths, so politicians would rather get you angry than tell you the truth, because if they told you the truth, you would recall every one of them and demand justice.

All of the uneducated ranting by the radical right and radical left is doing more damage than good.  These people depend on the Court to fix problems, but the Court is a source of their problems.  Because justices are appointed by presidents (with advice and consent of Senate), Americans live in a kind of perpetual fear because any gains they make in one administration can be voided by another.  (As women have seen their rights decimated in the past 50 years).

this shouldn't happen if the Constitution is the law of the land.  Seeing as it does happen, it isn't the law of the land.  We need to know our Constitution better, but we need to be able to make intellectual arguments, not emotional ones.  Intellectual arguments can be discussed.  "In my gut" arguments do nothing more than defeat you because they form unsustainable arguments.

I'm quite astounded by how few Americans know what the constitution says or means.  I'm also astounded by how few Americans know their own American history.  It's not our fault because mandatory public "schooling" (indoctrination) has been filled with lies.  To take back our country, we have to find an element of patriot leadership willing to speak truth to the people.  Unfortunately, the truth is so ugly, no one is willing to.  It's not financially profitable.

All woes in the country are tied to MONEY.

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