Monday Brief

Brief

Mar. 26, 2012

The Foundation

“[W]hen all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another.” –Thomas Jefferson

Essential Liberty

“On Monday, ObamaCare will get its first of several days before the Supreme Court. All nine justices (no recusals) will hear six hours of argument spread over three days. Here’s what to expect: Monday, March 26, 10:00 a.m. – The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on whether a federal tax law bars any challenge to the mandate requiring all individuals to purchase or obtain health insurance. … Tuesday, March 27, 10:00 a.m. – The Court will hear two hours of argument on the main event: the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate that requires all Americans to buy a health insurance policy or be subject to a penalty imposed by the IRS. … Wednesday, March 28, 10:00 a.m. – The Court will hear 90 minutes of argument on the issue of severability: can any part of the ObamaCare Act survive if the Court were to strike down the individual insurance mandate or any other part of the law? … Wednesday, March 28, 1:00 p.m. – The Court will hear a final hour of argument examining the constitutionality of ObamaCare’s expansion of the federal Medicaid program. … As always, the sessions will not be televised. However, the Court has promised to release the audio file of the oral arguments by 2:00 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, and by 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday. And no, I don’t know how you can get a ticket to get in to hear the arguments other than by standing in line with everyone else for what will be the most important case decided by the Supreme Court since Brown v. Board of Education. It will be a momentous week for the interests of liberty, freedom, and the preservation of a constitutional republic.” –Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Hans A. von Spakovsky

What do you expect will be the final ruling on ObamaCare?

Government

“Whether or not the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) proves to be constitutionally valid, it is based on mistaken premises, faulty economic analysis, short-sighted politics, and seriously flawed health policy. … The strongest constitutional law arguments against the PPACA’s individual mandate begin with the essential point that it is unprecedented and not bound by any limiting principle. It seriously threatens the concept that enumerated powers under the Constitution set some limits on the scope of permissible federal authority. … But the mandate is troubling for other reasons. Defining and implementing a mandate entails many additional rules regarding exactly what it requires, how to carry it out, and who pays for it. Once we presume government is ultimately responsible for guaranteeing every American has purchased the required health insurance, we also guarantee a permanent and ever-more-intrusive role for politicians and their favored interest groups in translating that goal into practice. … Insurance mandates that conscript more individuals to pay for new, expanded coverage can act like a tax to help fund additional health spending. … Not surprisingly, an individual mandate has the least support from those it is purported to help: people who currently do not enroll in public coverage or employer-sponsored insurance or purchase individual coverage. Trying to force people to buy insurance they cannot afford or coercing them into paying more for coverage than its perceived value remains politically difficult.” –American Enterprise Institute’s Thomas P. Miller

For the Record

“[T]he Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm, has focused on this fact: The individual mandate is incompatible with centuries of contract law. … The brief, the primary authors of which are IJ’s Elizabeth Price Foley and Steve Simpson, says Obamacare is the first time Congress has used its power to regulate commerce to produce a law ‘from which there is no escape.’ … Throughout the life of this nation it has been understood that for a contract to be valid, the parties to it must mutually assent to its terms – without duress. In addition to duress, contracts are voidable for reasons of fraud upon, or the mistake or incapacity of, a party to the contract. This underscores the centrality of the concept of meaningful consent in contract law. To be meaningful, consent must be informed and must not be coerced. Under Obamacare, the government will compel individuals to enter into contractual relations with insurance companies under threat of penalty. … Furthermore, although the Constitution permits Congress to make laws ‘necessary and proper’ for executing its enumerated powers, such as the power to regulate interstate commerce, it cannot, IJ argues, be proper to exercise that regulatory power in ways that eviscerate ‘the very essence of legally binding contracts.’ … IJ correctly says that if the court were to ratify Congress' disregard for settled contract law, Congress' ‘power to compel contractual relations would have no logical stopping point.’ Which is why this case is the last exit ramp on the road to unlimited government.” –columnist George Will

The Gipper

“[I]t doesn’t require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. … The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment.” –Ronald Reagan

Political Futures

“[I]f Mitt wins the nomination, as seems very likely, I will enthusiastically support his candidacy. For my friends who have hesitation on that score, I’d just ask you to keep four things in mind: Justice Scalia just turned 78, Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year, Justice Breyer will be 76 in August, and Justice Ginsburg turned 81 about a week ago. We wish them all well, of course, but the brute fact is that whoever we elect as president in November is almost certainly going to choose at least one and maybe more new members of the Supreme Court – in addition to hundreds of other life-tenured federal judges, all of whom will be making momentous decisions about our lives for decades to come. If you don’t think it matters whether the guy making those calls is Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, I think you’re smokin' something funky.” –columnist Andrew McCarthy

Opinion in Brief

“We’re constantly told that the way to fix the country is to dethrone the left and right and empower the middle. … What if instead the solution is to disempower the national elites who think they’ve got the answers to everything? Federalism – the process whereby you push most political questions to the lowest democratic level possible – has been ripe on the right for years now. It even had a champion in Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Ron Paul still carries that torch. The main advantage of federalism is more fundamental than the so-called ‘laboratories of democracy’ idea. Federalism is simply the best political system ever conceived of for maximizing human happiness. A one-size-fits-all policy imposed at the national level has the potential to make very large numbers of citizens unhappy, even if it was arrived at democratically. … A left-right federalist compromise would make America a happier, freer, more prosperous and interesting country. It would also dethrone those in both parties who think they know what’s best for more than 300 million Americans.” –columnist Jonah Goldberg

Re: The Left

“Even though President Obama realizes that exploding gasoline prices are beginning to incinerate his reelection bid, his only remaining, but favorite, defense is demonizing ‘Big Oil.’ Too bad for him it is factually false. First, the oil and gas industry [is] one of the main ‘drivers’ of the U.S. economy, and is, perhaps the only, short-term solution to our economic recovery. A report from the World Economic Forum, in conjunction with IHS-CERA, shows the oil and gas industry drives U.S. job creation, with oil and natural gas production accounting for 9% of new U.S. jobs last year. … In 2011, ExxonMobil paid $108.1 billion in total worldwide taxes, up from $89.2 billion in 2010, according to its filings, with the income tax portion being $30.5 billion. Exxon also pays taxes to foreign governments where it operates. As to ExxonMobil’s United States share, they paid $12.3 billion for federal, state, sales, property, and excise taxes. Overall, that makes Exxon the biggest payer of U.S. corporate taxes. … President Barack Obama may get ‘burned’ by this very open and fact-free ‘Grand Deceit,’ just as he did for his falsely blaming Republicans for the failure of the debt-ceiling negotiations.” –columnist Jeffrey Klein

Reader Comments

“It is disturbing that Alexander’s commentary on the power of women voters, ‘Who Will Elect the Next President?,’ received so few reader comments. Either your readers were confused by the subject line and thought the topic was the Electoral College, or too many conservatives really don’t get the fact, as Alexander made plain, that the next election WILL be decided by women.” –Politickler

“OK Alexander, you left out one factor in regard to how women vote, and as a woman who knows lots of other women, let me assure you that we also vote for men, and women when they are on the ballot, who look the part. Yes, the appearance of a candidate really matters to many of us, though it does not trump more cerebral characteristics.” –California Lady Liberty

Editor’s Reply: Well, truth be told, several of our in-house experts noted appearance as a factor, but as the author of this essay, I could not bring myself to suggest that “good looks” is a factor. But I thank you for mentioning it so I can post YOUR view without undue criticism.

“We vote Democrat too often because we make decisions that are driven by emotion more than reason and logic. I want an honest man with the guts to do what is right – not just what is politically expedient. I am amazed how many of my well educated colleagues let emotions lead their political views, rather than overarching issues like Liberty and, as you often note, its Rule of Law foundation. The Democrats have thoroughly exploited this angle!” –Lone Star Lawyer

“Alexander wrote, ‘During Women’s History Month,’ Obama proclaimed, ‘we … reaffirm our steadfast commitment to the rights, security and dignity of women…’ Apparently Obama is not too troubled by the abysmal treatment of women in the Muslim dominated societies with whom he seems so intent on making nice.” –Traveller

“The Ryan Plan is a good start, but needs to go much further and get rid of the Department of Education that doesn’t educate, the Department of Energy that has never produced any energy, the Environmental Protection Agency that destroys the economy in frivolous illegal regulations, and the IRS with the implementation of a flat tax.” –wjm

“Paul Ryan’s plan, while commendable, does not go far enough. We need bold action now like what Senator Rand Paul is putting forward!” –Todd

“I am by no means putting down SEAL Team Six’s success on deep sixing UBL but Joe Biden shouldn’t forget the audacity of Operation Eagle Claw, The Son Tay Raid, or the Raid at Cabanatuan (resulting in the rescue of more than 500 Americans). These are but just three that come to mind from the last 67 years. I would also like to mention, though not as dangerous, that there was an equally audacious raid on December 16, 1773, when a ragtag group of Patriots stood up to an empire.” –Rouhana

The Last Word

“I write about a lot of things on my blog and in my columns. But I also leave a lot of news uncovered – because, simply, there isn’t enough time in the day. This week, progressives and lib media activists elevated a tragic Florida shooting involving a 17-year-old boy into the cause celebre of the week. … [F]or the past several days, zealous libs on Twitter have demanded that I ‘say something.’ Why? Because they’ve turned the horrible death of Trayvon Martin into a racial litmus test. And now, Barack Obama is all too willing to pour gas on the fire. ‘President Obama weighed in Friday on the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, calling it a national tragedy – and saying that the young man reminded him of his own children. "When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids,” Obama said in Rose Garden remarks. … “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” Obama said. “All of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves.”’ … What do Trayvon’s race and looks have to do with anything? The political opportunism undercuts the very ‘seriousness’ Obama purports to display. The Al Sharpton/New Black Panthers Party-led mob is forging ahead with its polarizing racial profiling narratives [including a $10,000 bounty for capturing the shooter] despite the fact that the alleged shooter is Hispanic and multiracial. … No matter. The blame game bonanza is in full swing, with Barack Obama’s tacit consent.“ –columnist Michelle Malkin

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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173 Comments

Dioneikes in Colorado said:

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to dissolve the political bands which has bound one people to another." - Thomas JeffersonI hope that American people will stand up and face down the threat to their liberties from the Liberal Left and the Communist Presidential Pretender occupying the White House right now. The left has no shame and the only reason they don't ever say anything on a subject is because they can't turn it for political gain. God willing Obamacare will be struck down as un-Constitutional! If not we are headed into a long night of Socialism.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

BJ Cassady said:

What should happen is a no-brainer. However, we are talking about D.C. the far-left seat of our country. I have little hope for this. This is a huge case that will define what is left of our Liberty. If Obamacare is held as legal, then Liberty as defined by our forefathers is dead and I for one will start looking for a place where Liberty still exists.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:12 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

Obamacare is unconstitutional, forcing participation under duress and threat of penalty. The ruling should be Nine to None. But there are Four who are ruling elites, who don't like the Constituion (Ginsburg) or belive in a "living Constituion" (Kagan, Sotomayor), who should be removed from the court for such an obvious conflict of interrest (distain for the Constitution and rule of law as expressed by our founders and not Karl Marx). Obamao must be defeated, and not allowed to appoint any more traitors to the court. As for the Martin shooting, what was the miscreant doing in that gated community? Not one report has had any explanation of why the youth was there. If the shooter had no recourse, he would be in jail. I don't care if he was only armed with an ice tea can, if he came at me with it and attacked, I would blow him away as shure as if he had a rock, a knife, or just a fist. It is an under or un reported fact that the shooter had defensive wounds, but the ministry of propoganda can't be counted on to report facts. The nightly news today is a half hour of lies devoted to the re-election of the marxist statist traitor in chief.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:16 AM

mwlyons in San Antonio said:

Personally, I think the law is unconstitutional. It goes against the founders vision, especially constitutional author James Madison, of a limited Federal Government. If SCOTUS allows the government to madate we all by health insurance, then what, under the framework of limited government, can't the government do. As far as the actual SCOTUS vote goes, it's a toss up.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Richard Allen said:

The Supreme Court is nothing but an extension of the government. They will find in favor of Barry Soetoro. Kagan and Sotomayer are appointed by Barry. Forgetaboutit.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:22 AM

dale lauffer said:

regarding obamacare. obama and his advisorsentered the health care plan as a tax.according to the constitution congress hasthe right to levy a tax.there is no limitto the amount of tax congress can levy.therefore Obama and his advisors were cleverin that they entered it as a tax.The supreme court will approve obamacare.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Chad brisbane said:

I expect the court will rule it a tax as yet unlevied and thus no injunction against Obamacare can be imposed- at least until after the national election- when the mandate actually kicks in. The constitutional issue(s) also thusly deferred.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Betty Grimm said:

I hope and pray that the government doen't take over our lives.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

David Carlson said:

I would expect it to be struck down. Considering the corruption of this administration and the refusal of Kagan to recuse herself indicates their is pressure behing the scenes to come up with a bogus argument to uphold it. Our country deserves judgment and Biblically judgment begins with the household of God. I haven't seen an at large repentance in the church of Jesus Christ. As a result God may to bring more discipline on His children to bring that to pass. It is all about His glory. He is not being glorified by a substantial number of Christians in our country at this time. It is business as usual. We are too much like Germany as Hitler took over.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

W. Kott said:

The four liberal members will vote to uphold the law. Justice Kennedy will likely be the swing vote.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Bounty said:

I echo Mr. Cassady's statement. I believe that the corruption in our government has grown to a position that now supercede's our Constitutional Right's. Govt allow's us to have the illusion of freedom thru these document's to pacify us. When they swear their oath to our Constitution it should be under penalty of treason.If we as a nation do not get 8 year term limits on member's of congree this will never change.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

thomas anderson said:

AS ALL THINGS IN CONTEMPORARY GOVERNMENT A NON DECISION IS ALL THAT CAN BE EXPECTED, THESE JUSTICES WILL NOT TAKE A STAND FOR CONSTITUTIONALITY.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Don said:

I hope that our almighty heavenly father intervenes in this case. In the minds of most folks, the Clinton and Obama appointees to the court have pre-determined the ruling. I really don't see how the justices can say this bill in any part is constitutional.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Ray Leslie said:

I think Obama care should be struck down because of its unconstitutional worth.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Rob Roir said:

I believe argument made by the Institute of Justice as pointed out in George Will's recent column will lead the Justices to declare the mandate unconstitutional. The argument made is that this is a contract made under duress by demanding that you either join or pay a penalty. The Supreme Court has always ruled that such a contract is null and void because a contract can only be legal if both/all sides agree to the terms of a contract.

Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM