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2012-06-28 14:02 by Karl Denninger
in Health Reform , 56 references Ignore this thread
SCOTUS Tortures Constitution: PPACA*

Now I've seen it all.

The USSC upheld Obamacare by, basically, twisting the Constitution into a pretzel, crapping on it, whizzing on that and then eating it.

Finding first that the Commerce Clause bars the government from compelling one to enter into commerce, the analysis then turned to whether there was any way to save the constitutionality of the act.

The justices found one.

They re-interpreted the penalty clause as a tax.

And of course, Congress can levy taxes.

That's the path taken by this tortured process -- a path that could only be dreamed up if someone had already determined the outcome they sought instead of being an independent jurist.

The real surprise, however, is that Chief Justice Roberts, believed to be a strict constructionist on the court, managed to not only agree with this piece of tortured logic he found and constructed it as the opinion is his!

So much for judicial restraint and strict construction!

You really ought to read the dissent that starts on page 127 of the opinion.  Justice Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito eviscertate the majority, saying in part:

Here, however, Congress has impressed into servicethird parties, healthy individuals who could be but are not customers of the relevant industry, to offset the undesirable consequences of the regulation. Congress’ desire to force these individuals to purchase insurance is motivatedby the fact that they are further removed from the marketthan unhealthy individuals with pre-existing conditions, because they are less likely to need extensive care in the near future. If Congress can reach out and command even those furthest removed from an interstate market to participate in the market, then the Commerce Clause becomes a font of unlimited power, or in Hamilton’s words, "the hideous monster whose devouring jaws . . . spare neither sex nor age, nor high nor low, nor sacred nor profane." The Federalist No. 33, p. 202 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961).

What little was left of The Constitution died today, June 28th, 2012.

And incidentally, the math on federal health spending coupled with this decision means that by the time a 55 year old man reaches 85 (his life expectancy, roughly) the Federal government will be attempting to spend roughly $15 trillion a year on health care.

(No it won't, no we won't get that far, and the detonation of our government on the fiscal side is now assured -- or your health care will be sacrificed.  This is mathematics, not politics.)

PS: For those who think that the majority opinion somehow "upholds" limits on the Commerce Clause, you're reading this wrong.  Dead wrong.  The opinion finds that anything that Congress wants to do it can compel with any sort of financial penalty and construe it as a tax -- even though such is blatantly unlawful under both the Anti-Injunction Act and, for many such instances as a direct tax (as it would not be apportioned as required by the Constitution.)  The justices simply ignored these infirmities when it suited them; in effect they used the Clinton argument -- the word "is" means whatever they want it to mean even when it required two different meanings at the same time

What was left of the Constitution and our Republic literally died today, and not one political candidate or party that I've seen respond to this thus far has gotten it right.

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