Obamacare is Unconstitutional, but Congress Should Know This
Weighing in on one of the most serious legal challenges to Obamacare, a federal judge ruled the law’s individual mandate was unconstitutional. The massive government takeover is woeful policy and the odious provision that every American purchase health insurance is certainly unconstitutional.
Yesterday’s decision affirms our constitution is working — the independent judiciary is reining in an out-of-control legislature. While Heritage Action welcomes that check on congressional power, we are committed to ensuring Congress abides by the Constitution from the outset.
Many congressional overreaches have been justified with the Commerce Clause. Article I, Section 8, Cause 3 reads:
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes
Our colleagues at The Heritage Foundation have an excellent analysis of the Commerce Clause and federalism related to Obamacare. Since the New Deal, Congress used Commerce Clause power to regulate increasing swaths of American life and limit our freedom. However, it appears courts now may recognize some limits on this power.
It is incumbent that Members of Congress remember they swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The individual mandate is terrible policy that clearly runs outside Congress’s constitutional purview. In his ruling, Judge Henry Hudson applied the administration’s “economic activity” argument to the next logical level:
Of course, 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.
Would Congress ever mandate Americans to buy a certain brand of car, style of house or type of vegetable? It seems absurd, but then again, so does forcing Americans to purchase a service (i.e., health insurance). It’s our job, and yours, to remind Members of Congress of their constitutional obligation. By keeping government within the bounds of the Constitution, America will be strong, secure and free.