Mar 23, 2010

Twelve States Question Constitutionality of the Bill

West Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is planning on filing a "rocket docket" the second the president signs the House's version of the Health Care overhaul (which is premature since the Senate has to look at the revisions and debate each amendment to the bill - but that's just a minor part of parliamentary procedure that no one seems to give a rip about... even though it could still sink the bill.)

Cuccinelli is convinced that the since Virginia passed the Health Care Freedom Act on a bipartisan basis, which blocks individual mandates for health care for Virginia citizens, the individual mandate of the federal bill is in conflict with it. He shall go to court to defend the Virginia statute. He says,
"And normally, as you know, the supremacy clause would lead to the federal bill trumping, except when it is not constitutional, and that's where our allegation that the bill is unconstitutional comes in. They have overreached the commerce clause here, and we don't think the commerce clause can support this bill."
What's Unconstitutional, you ask?
The individual mandate is that they must buy health insurance or face penalties overreaches the authority of the Congress under the commerce clause. Buying health insurance can be said to be an act in commerce. Not buying health insurance, doing nothing, is not an act in commerce. And it has never before been included in a federal law to mandate that individual citizens buy something from some other entity, another citizen, another company.
What about mortgage insurance and car insurance?

Since the mortgage home insurance is required by your lender - not the State, it's different. Car insurance is not mandatory, unless you plan on driving.
Cuccinelli argues that it's not mandatory when you are born... and driving is a privilege, not a right. And even that authority is his State's responsibility, not the Federal Government's.

Florida's Attorney General Bill McCollum agrees,
"McCollum said, “This is a tax or a penalty on just living, and that's unconstitutional. There's no provision in the Constitution of the United States giving Congress the power to do that”."
Eleven other States plan on filing their own lawsuits... South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Nebraska, Idaho, Florida, North Dakota, Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.

1 comment:

jacobsrib said...

Why don't the AGs petition the Supreme Court directly in accordance with Article III Section 2 Clause 2 (original jurisdiction) on 10th Amendment grounds? e.g., Unfunded mandates re Medicaid