District Judge Roger Vinson, a Reagan appointee, declared the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) unconstitutional today. But what makes this decision really great is that Judge Vinson didn’t just say that the segment of the law requiring every citizen to purchase insurance was unconstitutional, as the federal Judge in Virginia did last December. He went beyond that and said the whole thing needs to be scrapped. He basically told Democrats to take their ball and go home. While the Supreme Court will undoubtedly have the last say in this case, this victory feels great because the judge ripped apart ObamaCare AND quoted James Madison in the process. The decision, which from here on shall be referred to as the ObamaCare Smack Down (OCSD for short), starts out with a few lines from The Federalist Papers,
If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
This is a perfect quote to start the OCSD with and I applaud Judge Vinson for using it. The federal government has not controlled itself in a long time and in my opinion, ObamaCare represents the height of this. Judge Vinson elaborates,
In establishing our government, the Founders endeavored to resolve Madison’s identified “great difficulty” by creating a system of dual sovereignty under which “[t]he powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” When the Bill of Rights was later added to the Constitution in 1791, the Tenth Amendment reaffirmed that relationship: “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.” The Framers believed that limiting federal power, and allowing the “residual” power to remain in the hands of the states (and of the people), would help “ensure protection of our fundamental liberties” and “reduce the risk of tyranny and abuse.”
The OCSD should be required reading for all politicians! He plainly describes how the federal government must stick to it’s Constitutionally enumerated powers if we are to preserve our liberty. Does ObamaCare help preserve our liberty? Continuing,
Very early, the great Chief Justice John Marshall noted “that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” Over two centuries later, this delicate balancing act continues. Rather than being the mere historic relic of a bygone era, the principle behind a central government with limited power has “never been more relevant than in this day, when accretion, if not actual
accession, of power to the federal government seems not only unavoidable, but even expedient.”
…while everyone may agree that the federal government is one of enumerated powers, “the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted, is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to
arise, so long as our system shall exist.” Id. This case presents such a question.
Wow, that’s how all legal decisions involving Constitutional issues should start. I recommend reading the entire OCSD because it’s brilliantly written and eloquently lays the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare in plain sight for all to see. Click here for the full OCSD. But, if you don’t have time to read it, I’ll leave you with one of the closing statements,
Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution. Again, this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the Constitutional role of the federal government. For the reasons stated, I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here. Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.(emphasis mine)
First, we had Judge Henry Hudson declare the individual mandate in ObamaCare unconstitutional and now we have Judge Roger Vinson issuing the OCSD and declaring the entire act void! That’s 2 strikes… will the Supreme Court throw strike number 3 so we can send this budget busting, power grabbing monstrosity into the dustbin of history were it belongs?
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