Friday, April 02, 2010

The Health Care Follies Continue

I don't expect Congressmen to be top-flight Constitutional scholars, but Congressman Phil Hare's breezy brush-off of Constitutional concerns related to the health care reform legislation is more damaging than Hank Johnson's stupidity...
He doesn’t mean “I don’t worry about it because I’ve studied the Commerce Clause and I’m confident we’ll win in court.” When pressed, he flatly says he doesn’t know which part of the Constitution justifies the law, which is his way of saying he doesn’t care and hasn’t thought about it. In fact, the best he can do by way of legal authority is to cite life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — which of course comes from the Declaration of Independence. His response, when corrected? “Doesn’t matter to me. Either one.”
Imagine the outrage on the left if a GOP-controlled Congress passed, and then the President signed into law, a bill outlawing abortion. I will grant that such a bill would fly in the face of existing precedent, but there is plenty of good faith debate among top-flight Constitutional scholars as to whether different parts of Obamacare (particularly the individual mandate) are constitutional. I don't need a Congressman to weigh in with an expert opinion, but I would like to know that he's considered the issues and understands them well enough to articulate a coherent rationale for why he believes it's not an issue. I'd like to think that's part of the job. At least John Conyers made up a "Good and Welfare Clause" to justify Obamacare. On the whole, it's rather disturbing that the constitutionality of such far-reaching legislation is of little importance to those who passed it. If you want to know why the Tea Party activists are offended by our current governmental elite, there's a basic summary of it.

I doubt the Supreme Court would overturn Obamacare, based on existing precedent. But I think I'd enjoy watching Democrats try and debate the finer points of constitutional law with the Supreme Court.

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