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  • The States to Speaker Pelosi: They’re Serious

    When Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was asked by a reporter “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate,” she responded, “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

    Today comes an answer from Florida, 19 other states, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses: they are very serious.  Federal District Court Judge Roger Vinson today rejected the Obama administration’s invitation to throw their case out, allowing the constitutional challenge to proceed.

    The 65-page decision is reasoned and methodical.  To give but a taste, the judge spends no less than 22 pages assessing whether the penalty assessed for failing to comply with the individual mandate is a tax or a penalty.  This seemingly arcane issue is important because, despite President Obama and Congress’s claims throughout that the penalty is not a tax increase, the Justice Department has argued in Court that it is, in fact, a tax, in order to rely upon Congress’s taxing powers as an answer to the question that we began with, namely “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate.”

    The federal government’s change in position on this issue earned a strong rebuke from Judge Vinson, who used the Justice Department’s own arguments about congressional accountability against them:

    [I]t is obvious that Congress did not pass the penalty, in the version of the legislation that is now “the Act,” as a tax under its taxing authority, but rather as a penalty pursuant to its Commerce Clause power. . . . And, now that it has passed into law on that basis, government attorneys have come into this court and argued that it was a tax after all. This rather significant shift in position, if permitted, could have the consequence of allowing Congress to avoid the very same accountability that was identified by the government’s counsel in the Virginia case as a check on Congress’s broad taxing power in the first place. . . . .

    Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an “Alice-in-Wonderland” tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check.

    Opinion at 27-28 (internal citations and footnotes omitted).

    With the Alice-in-Wonderland taxing argument taken away, the government is left with only one constitutional rationalization for the mandate: that forcing individuals who are not engaging in commerce regarding insurance contracts to enter into contracts for insurance with private, third-part insurers is somehow a regulation of interstate commerce.  The government argued that this use of congressional authority was nothing unusual, and that the case should be dismissed.  The Court disagreed, finding the question of whether to allow the claim “not even a close call.”  The Judge found that “[t]he power that the individual mandate seeks to harness is simply without prior precedent”—contrary to the government’s “nothing to see here” argument.   Demonstrating the breadth of the regulatory scheme, the Court noted:

    The individual mandate applies across the board. People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it. Those who fall under the individual mandate either comply with it, or they are penalized. It is not based on an activity that they make the choice to undertake. Rather, it is based solely on citizenship and on being alive.

    The decision is yet another loss for the Obama administration, which now will have to defend the mandate at a hearing on December 16.  And with these mounting losses, the answer to Speaker Pelosi’s question is getting stronger, and clearer.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to The States to Speaker Pelosi: They’re Serious

    1. Billie says:

      Who could forget the first public admission of democrat Pelosi's dereliction? This wouldn't happen in the America WE know! But because of the America we are, we thank God for the intelligence of common sense to defend the truthful and meaningful lines of discipline in the Constitution

      We're being set up at every angle. FSA, HSA, HOUSING, EPA, EDUCATION, PERSONAL HEALTH. whether rich or poor, it's every rightful basic responsibility of a free people to maintain independence, the government is destroying and forcing America under government control. May this horrible idea be dismissed from American thinking. God Bless the judges that defend the strength of the true meaning of this country and may the supreme court be just as forthright.

    2. Pingback: Good News! Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Obamacare to Proceed | The Lonely Conservative

    3. Drew Page, IL says:

      Pelosi's response to a legitimate question, "Are you serious?" is yet but another example of her arrogance.

      In three weeks we can reward her with a new title, "Former Speaker of the House".

    4. Stephen (Dublin, GA) says:

      I can't wait to see all of the liberal commies in Washington thrown under a bus, truck, tank, whatever!

    5. Robert White Plains, says:

      Everybody please remember that Pelosi is only one voice in reality when she speaks.

      However, mid term elections are upon us and "us" is the voice of many.

      Bye b ye Pelosi, and yes, we are serious, us of the U.S. of A.

    6. ONTIME says:

      If the court ruins the Feds argument in favor of States Rights and denies them the power to make the states pay the feds tab for HC, then there is no funding and HC as it should be will be dead in the water and cease to exist. Boehner and his argument can win this if the court see's it as a unenforceable fee.

    7. Robert, White Plais, says:

      avoid all caps? what happened to grammar, proper nouns, ie, names, require capital letters, can't use names then how do you address a situation with no protagonist? literary common sense. no wonder i can't get anything posted here, i use my education in english as it was meant to be used.

    8. Madman says:

      I'm sure glad that the people who passed this bill in the future will not have to worry about reading or not reading bills that they won't ever get a chance to pass.

    9. Doug says:

      Nancy:

      What part of "NO" do you not understand? The 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified December 15, 1791, is firmly in place and as clear as water. It reads, "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."

      When you threaten the citizens with a punishment if they don't buy something you force on them, you are beyond your statutory arthority and, in fact, a tyrant. I can't wait to get into that voting booth! You've stolen from the American People. And we want it back…our rights, our freedoms, our liberty, our dignity, and our honor.

    10. Ed Blessing, TX says:

      Perhaps we may soon respond to Speaker Pelosi's comment that we have to pass the healthcare monstrosity to see what's in it this way: Madam Speaker, you will be able to see and fully understand the contents of this repeal bill before it's even considered by the congress. You will be able to see the outrage and sense of betrayal of public trust felt by a considerable majority of the populace. Perhaps then you may begin to understand why such a large percentage of Americans reject totally your "progressive", even socialistic agenda.

    11. Michael Alspaugh says:

      As a person that watches C-SPAN on a daily basis I see and hear both sides make their cases. I try my best to hear with an open mind and heart but time after time I pick up on the fact that Nancy's party wants to run our entire lives from start to finish. The implication is we are too dumb to make decisions that are in our own best interest. Millions of people have migrated to America to make those decisons and Nancy wants to remove that right from our constitution.Well Nancy and Mr president there are plenty of countries that you could go to and live under government control… Oh I forgot you don't want to be controlled you just want to control we the people.The LIBs are arrogant and condescending towards even their own supporters and that will rear-up and bite them in the ellections… the sooner the better….

    12. Brenda Hackney says:

      Nancy Pelosi, is as arrogant as they come, Nancy see where your arrogance got you?? Out on your ample derriair !! You people in Congress nor the President of These United States, can overide the "We The People" ! We will Not Bow Down to your Progressive Agenda, We Will Not Become a Shadow Of The America we all grew up believing in ! The good guy over coming the bad guys, Mother, Apple Pie and The Red White And Blue !!! I cannot explain how upset I have been, with the route our beloved America has been taken ! We will be strong again and we will not be dupped by a fast talking, Flim Flam man again !!!! Trust Me, it is not gonna happen !

    13. Margaret.maine 04239 says:

      as far as pelocy goes i dont like at all

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