Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is the Constitution Required Reading for U. S. Politicians?

The 10th amendment to the Constitution of the United States declares that:
"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."
I really don't remember anything in the Constitution allowing the Federal government the amount of control over healthcare that the "Obamacare" bill gives it. None of the arguments citing the "necessary and proper" or "interstate commerce" clauses are convincing to me since the logical conclusion of such arguments is that Congress can do anything not expressly forbidden if it deems it "necessary and proper" or if it even remotely affects "interstate commerce" (see the Wickard v. Filburn decision of 1942 for the most horrific abuse of the interstate commerce clause). The 10th amendment, which gives those "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution" to "the States respectively, or to the people",  is utterly meaningless if these two clauses were intended to be as broadly applicable as proponents of Obamacare claim.

Thus, Congress and the president have completely ignored the Constitution by signing Obamacare into law, which gives the Federal government unprecedented control over Americans' healthcare. Polls show that most Americans opposed the bill, but that should be irrelevant. Whether popular opinion is in favor of or against such a power grab, the Constitution was expressly written to limit the powers of the Federal government and to give the state governments (which are closer to the governed) more authority. However, the Federal government has been continuously stretching (and outright demolishing) its Constitutional limits, especially since the Great Depression.

Now that both the Executive and the Legislative branches have committed an act which I believe is clearly unconstitutional, I can only hope that the Judicial branch will overturn at least some of it. I suppose I shouldn't really expect that since the Supreme Court is even better known for overstepping its Constitutional bounds. Heaven help us if the states are forced to take action; we all know what happened the last time that was tried.

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