Judging that the mandate in President Obama’s Health Care bill is an unconstitutional expansion of the commerce clause, U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson struck a blow for a commonsense approach to constitutional interpretation. He further decided that words actually have meanings and are not merely place holders for future generations to use as they deconstruct the document meant to limit government into a document used to expand it.
Judge Hudson stated “At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate.” In his well reasoned and well stated 42 page opinion, Hudson also said many things which have needed saying for quite some time. After years of activist judges stretching our tortured Constitution from limiting the government to limiting the citizen it’s refreshing to see an American jurist proclaiming that the corruption of our fundamental charter is leading us towards the creation of an unlimited central government usurping the powers expressly reserved to the States and the people.
Several of his statements are so well worded and so important they deserve repeating by every patriot who has a voice:
According to Judge Hudson:
“Although the Necessary and Proper Clause vests Congress with broad authority to exercise means, which are not themselves an enumerated power, to implement legislation, it is not without limitation.”
“Every application of Commerce Clause power found to be constitutionally sound by the Supreme Court involved some form of action, transaction, or deed placed in motion by an individual or legal entity.”
“Although purportedly grounded in the General Welfare Clause, the notion that the generation of revenue was a significant legislative objective is a transparent afterthought.”
“The legislative purpose underlying this provision was purely regulation of what Congress misperceived to be economic activity.”
“[i]f a person's decision not to purchase health insurance at a particular point in time does not constitute the type of economic activity subject to regulation under the Commerce Clause, then logically an attempt to enforce such a provision under the Necessary and Proper Clause is equally offensive to the Constitution.”
“The same reasoning could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions. This broad definition of the economic activity subject to congressional regulation lacks logical limitation and is unsupported by Commerce Clause jurisprudence....”
“Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal circuit court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I....”
“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, the dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual’s right to choose to participate.”
“[T]he Minimum Essential Coverage Provision appears to forge new ground and extends the Commerce Clause powers beyond its current high water mark."
These are the type of words patriots have been waiting to hear from the bench! These are the bold and direct statements needed to reaffirm the truth that the Constitution is meant to limit government not to enable it to run roughshod over the freedom and liberty of the people. If the original document did not make this clear the Tenth Amendment states this fundamental truth clearly for all to hear, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
However gratifying it is to hear an American Judge stand up for American values we must keep this victory in perspective. Two other Federal Courts have previously upheld the government mandate. And one thing can be confidently predicted, all of these rulings will be appealed.
There is no effective way to bring pressure on a federal judge. They are insulated by lifetime appointments. Therefore, We the People cannot influence any of them and our opinion means nothing. Although some desire for the procedure to be shortened, having the matter immediately brought before the Supreme Court, even that wouldn’t bring a definitive answer until well into the next election cycle. And then the decision as to the continued freedom of American citizens to refrain from economic activity and the freedom of American citizens to make personal choices for themselves will be left up to nine individuals.
As the Anti-Federalists warned so many years ago in Brutus's 15th essay; “The supreme court under this constitution would be exalted above all other power in the government, and subject to no control.” The essay continued to warn, “There is no power above them that can correct their errors or control their decisions.” And, “The power of this court is in many cases superior to that of the legislature.” Ultimately observing, “When great and extraordinary powers are vested in any man, or body of men, which in their exercise, may operate to the oppression of the people, it is of high importance that powerful checks should be formed to prevent the abuse of it.” The ratification conventions of the States chose to ignore these powerful arguments; consequently, never has the freedom of so many rested upon the judgment of so few. And, probably on a vote of 5 to 4 rests the fate of We the People and a limited government.
Dr. Robert Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College. He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2010 Robert R. Owens [email protected] Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook.