“What if Obama’s Healthcare Law Required Every American to Buy a Gun” (Fox News)?
December 15, 2010 Blog
By: David A.W. Hittle
In 1942, The Supreme Court of the United States under Chief Justice Stone, the Supreme Court ruled, that “the government has the right to regulate things that effect commerce in the aggregate” (Wickard v. Filburn). The case made clear that Mr. Wickard has no right to plant wheat on his own farm; not to be sold to the public but to be consumed by his family only. The Court ruled that if every farmer was to plant wheat for themselves only then the economy would be drastically affected. This created the “aggregate” argument. If something in the “aggregate” affected the economy then it could be regulated by congress.
We now come to Obamacare, the Health Care Law passed by the House or Representatives and the Senate. We must admit that Health Care is indeed a part of Commerce, though it is not inter-state commerce due to the federal government not allowing the purchase of insurance outside your state. Health Care is indeed commerce, the question becomes can the federal government mandate a person to purchase an item.
This is where the “title question” comes from; it was brought up by Ken Cuccinelli. He is the Attorney General of Virginia who just got a judge to rule that the “mandate was unconstitutional.” According to the Landmark Legal Foundation: The judge in the case ruled: “1. Individuals who do not actively participate in commerce—that is, who do not voluntarily purchase health insurance—cannot be said to be participating in commerce under the United States Constitution’s Commerce Clause, and there is no Supreme Court precedent providing otherwise; 2. The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution cannot be used as a backdoor means to enforce a statute that is not otherwise constitutional under Congress’s enumerated powers; and 3. There is a difference between a tax and a penalty, there is much Supreme Court precedent in this regard, and the penalty provision in Obamacare is not a tax but a penalty and, therefore is, unconstitutional for it is applied to individuals who choose not to purchase health care” (Levin).
The above is all 100% true from what I have learned in Constitutional Law… There is a lot of uses of the Commerce Clause… It has been used to regulate firearms in school (United States v. Lopez). However in no point in this nation’s history has the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can mandate that a person not participating in commerce purchase something.
My question is this: If the Supreme Court rules that the Federal Government can mandate that every citizen purchase items that affect commerce, than where does it end? The Federal Government could tell every citizen that they must purchase a new General Motors car every year. The Federal Government could tell every citizen that they must purchase a new computer. The Federal Government could tell every citizen that they must purchase Government Bonds, or Stock in certain companies, where does it end. The Answer is: It will not… If the Supreme Court allows this, they will open the door to unlimited mandates…
I’m scared of this law ladies and gentlemen, never before has this type of law been passed. During the Great Depression the commerce clause was extended, and extended, and extended starting with “The Wheat Case.” If the Federal Government can come onto your property and tell you that you cannot plant your own wheat for your own family during the Great Depression, what can they not do? Well until now they couldn’t mandate but this is what the Health Care bill has in it. I hope it is shut down, it must be shut down, because if not it makes precedent, never before has it happened.
Finally let’s get to the question posed by Ken Cuccinelli, what if this bill made all Americans buy a gun. If the government can mandate that a citizen purchase health insurance even if they don’t want to; then the government can say “well the government no long needs to fund the police departments so all citizens are required to buy guns or, you’ll be taxed by the Internal Revenue Service.” Where does it end ladies and gentlemen? It ends now, this bill as it stands is unconstitutional and it shall be repealed!!
David A.W. Hittle
The David Hittle Show