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Rep. Conyers Discovers New Clause In Constitution, More Than 200 Years Later

Posted By Mike Brownfield On March 24, 2010 @ 1:00 pm In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

One of the more controversial – and unconstitutional – components of health care reform President Barack Obama signed into law yesterday is Congress’ mandate that individuals purchase health insurance or face a fine.

The Heritage Foundation has documented that there is no provision in the Constitution empowering Congress [1] to force Americans to buy a good or service. What’s more, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office agrees the mandate is entirely unprecedented [2].

So where does Congress get the authority to justify that provision? On Friday, CNSNews.com went to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers [3] (D-MI) for answers:

CNSNEWS: “What part of the Constitution do you think gives Congress the authority to mandate individuals to purchase health insurance?”

Rep. Conyers: “Under several clauses. The good and welfare clause, and a couple others.”

The “Good and Welfare” clause simply doesn’t exist. It’s nowhere to be found in the Constitution. CNSNews.com reports:

The word “good” only appears once in the Constitution, in Article 3, Section 1, which deals with the Judicial Branch, not the powers of Congress. Article 3, Section 1 says in part: “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

As an aside, Rep. Conyers has a law degree [4], and his committee is responsible for overseeing the federal court system, which in turn interprets and applies the law of the land.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/24/rep-conyers-discovers-new-clause-in-constitution-more-than-200-years-later/

URLs in this post:

[1] there is no provision in the Constitution empowering Congress: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2009/12/Why-the-Personal-Mandate-to-Buy-Health-Insurance-Is-Unprecedented-and-Unconstitutional

[2] the mandate is entirely unprecedented: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/48xx/doc4816/doc38.pdf

[3] CNSNews.com went to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/63182

[4] has a law degree: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Conyers

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