Posts Tagged ‘Commerce clause’

ObamaCare Declared Unconstitutional – Not That Democrats Give A Damn About The Constitution

February 1, 2011

ObamaCare is unconstitutional.  But Democrats could frankly care less what that meaningless moldy old document says.

Twenty-six states demanded that ObamaCare be declared unconstitutional in this decision, not counting Virginia which previously got its own successful decision against ObamaCare.

Federal District Judge Roger Vinson’s incredibly well-reasoned Constitution-based decision is available here.

A good article on this story was written by David Whelan for Forbes:

Justice Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court in Pensacola ruled today that the primary mechanism used by the health reform legislation to achieve universal insurance coverage–the individual mandate–is illegal. If his ruling stands it would void the 2,700 page, $938 billion health reform bill passed last year.

“Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications,” Vinson writes.

With this ruling, and a similar one in December by Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia, it’s likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will be the final arbiter of whether ObamaCare stands. Two other lawsuits–one in Michigan and one in Virginia–were thrown out by other federal district judges last year who ruled the constitutional challenge lacked merit.

Most analysts were expecting a ruling in favor of the 26 states hoping to overturn the bill. Vinson, in an earlier ruling, suggested that the federal fine for not buying insurance is more of a penalty than a tax. If it’s a penalty, the legislation relies on a broad interpretation of federal regulatory powers. If it’s a tax, as the Department of Justice’s lawyers argued, it’s much more difficult to make a constitutional objection.

In today’s ruling Vinson considered two arguments made by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, the lead plaintiff on the lawsuit. The first was the legislation forces states to expand Medicaid in a way that’s unaffordable. Vinson quickly dispatches that legal theory, pointing out that Medicaid is and always has been a voluntary program.

The second argument revolves around the individual mandate. The health reform legislation makes it illegal for insurers to discriminate against patients regardless of their health. With that change there’s a risk that only sick people would buy insurance and healthy people would wait or be priced out of the market. To address that problem, the bill forces everyone who does not have insurance to buy it. The combination of “guaranteed issue” and the “individual mandate” is the beating heart of the health bill.

While the new rules banning medical underwriting are popular, the individual mandate has bred resentment. The bill’s authors never anticipated the mandate would become a ripe target for legal challenges.

The argument that’s had the most traction is based on the limitations of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Commerce Clause explicitly allows the federal government regulate interstate commerce. But it also has been used to justify federal laws that affect other kinds of economic activity. The question raised by the lawsuit against the health reform bill is whether refusing to buy insurance constitutes interstate commerce. In his ruling Vinson says that in the past the Commerce Clause has been used to regulate activities like growing marijuana or navigating a waterway, but not used to force someone to do something they weren’t already doing. “It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause,” he writes.

Vinson rejects the administration’s argument that the health care market is unique since nobody can truly opt out–and that not buying insurance is in itself an economic activity since the cost of care then falls on others. Vinson mocks this argument, writing: “Everyone must participate in the food market… under this logic, Congress could [mandate] that every adult purchase and consume wheat bread daily.” If they didn’t buy wheat bread they might have a bad diet which would put a strain on the health care system, he writes.

Later he offers another analogy: “Congress could require that everyone above a certain income threshold buy a General Motors automobile — now partially government-owned — because those who do not buy GM cars (or those who buy foreign cars) are adversely impacting commerce and a taxpayer-subsidized business.” Vinson concludes: “The individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined, and applied in the existing Supreme Court case law.”

Judge Vinson marshalled quite a few opinions against ObamaCare.  Interestingly, one of them was Obama’s himself.

From the Washington Times:

In ruling against President Obama‘s health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama‘s own position from the 2008 campaign against him, arguing that there are other ways to tackle health care short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of the 78-page ruling Monday.

Democrats have established quite a recent history in thumbing their noses at the Constitution.

Charles Krauthammer had this to say on Fox News Special Report on January 5th about Democrats literally boycotting the reading of the Constitution on the House floor:

KRAUTHAMMER:  “It is truly astonishing. One member of Congress called it a long, dull document.  The New York Times editorial reading of the Constitution in the House is presumptuous.  Liberals got in trouble in the 60s and 70s for being on the wrong side of the flag and the anti-war demonstrations and now three decades later, they want to be on the wrong side of the Constitution.

The Constitution, after all – when these members were sworn in today, that they did not swear to defend the country or the army or the people; it was to defend the Constitution. That is the essence of America, and it is what makes us unique and why we are a country not of blood or race but ideas.  For liberals to think that there is actually an advantage in dismissing reading the Constitution and the requirement of having a constitutional reason to introduce a bill is real bad politics.”

It wasn’t just “bad politics.”  Krauthammer underscored that better than anyone.  It was contemptible citizenship.  It was the act of unAmerican people.

One Democrat actually called the reading of the U.S. Constitution “propaganda,” adding that a reading of the Constitution amounted to “total nonsense.”  He added that Republicans were reading it “like a sacred text.”  When, of course, so many Democrats treat it more like toilet paper.  Liberal Ezra Klein added historical ignorance to his moral ignorance by saying that the Constitution is confusing, having been written “a hundred years ago,” and that it is no longer binding.  Obviously, liberal Ezra Klein is an ignorant fool.

It is beyond official at this point.  We can separate the population of the United States of America into two groups: the American people and the unAmerican people.  And the Democrat Party has become the party of the unAmericans.

UnAmericans don’t give a damn about America.  They want to change it, pervert it, warp it, distort it.  They want to make it into something that it never was and never should have been.  And they call their effort “hope and change.”

Mind you, that’s “hope and change” in the direction set by Karl Marx; never the one set by George Washington.

A Muslim extremist named Tayyip Erdogan had this to say about democracy, comparing democracy to a bus: “You ride it to your destination, and then you step off.”  Democrats were elected democratically; and then they started imposing their 2,700 pages of fascism using every procedural gimmick in the book.  Nancy Pelosi actually said:

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

Let’s take another bus tour to how we got ObamaCare shoved down our throat:

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

(CNSNews.com) – When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”

Youtube audio of Nancy Pelosi dismissing constitutionality:

Yeah, people who actually care about the Constitution, and care about the fact that our lawmakers – who take an oath to uphold the Constitution – actually consider it.

Rep. Pete Stark, responding to a question on health care:

Questioner: “If this legislation is constitutional, what limitations are there on the federal government’s ability to tell us how to run our private lives?”

Rep. Stark: “I think that there are very few constitutional limits that would prevent the federal government from rules that could affect your private life.  now the basis for that would be how does that affect other people.”

Questioner: “The constitution specially enumerates certain powers to the federal government, and leaves all other authority to the states.  The constitution is very limited as to what it can do…. if they can do this, what can’t they do?”

Rep. Stark: “The federal government, yes, can do almost anything in this country.”

Watch the Youtube video of this question and answer:

Liberal Supreme Court justices imposed abortion on the grounds of a fundamental right to privacy – which is actually nowhere to be found in the Constitution – based on nothing more than “penumbras and emanations” discerned from gazing into the Constitution like a crystal ball rather than like a historical document.  Now they are saying there IS no right to privacy of any kind, whatsoever in order to impose government health care and all the violations of rights and liberties that go hand-in-hand with that imposition.  Because it never was about the Constitution or even about any right to privacy; it was always about using whatever rhetorical argument they wanted to get the result they wanted.  So they said we had a right to privacy until the right to privacy got in their way.

If the federal government can do almost anything in this country, how then do you stop the next dictatorship?  How do you stop tyranny?  How do you stop totalitarian big government?

And let’s consider a corresponding Democrat’s statement on the same subject of government health care:

Democrat Rep. John Dingell:

“The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re passing legislation that will cover 300 million American people in different ways, it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

And, of course, Dingell is right: it takes time and effort to abandon the Constitution – which places limits on federal power – and then impose controls on the people that utterly abandon any scintilla of any meaningful form of constitutional government.

Democrat Robin Carnahan, Missouri Secretary of State and candidate for the United States Senate:

Carnahan: “We’re going to also have a libertarian and a Constitution Party candidate running.  And I will tell you no one’s going to know who they are, but it’s not going to matter, because Glenn Beck says you’re supposed to be for the Constitution, and there is some percentage of people who will go vote for them.  And in our internal polling about six or seven percent goes like that to the Libertarian and Constitution Party.  So I’m quite sure that whoever wins is going to do it with less than fifty percent of the vote.” […]

Donor: “You just don’t sound like those Constitution Party votes are going to come out of your account.”

Carnahan: “What do you think?” (Audience laughter)

Donor: “I think you’re right.” (Audience laughter)

Here’s the Youtube audio of that exchange:

Stop and think about that: it is a matter of mocking derision that no one who actually cares about the integrity of the Constitution is going to vote for the Democrats.  And in fact Robin Carnahan – who is serving as a Democrat in the office of Secretary of State – cynically intends to exploit the fact that she can divide those who care about the Constitution and win by attrition.

And they mock the fact that no one who votes Democrat gives a leaping damn about the Constitution.

Take Democrat Rep. Jan Schakowsky on “The Stephanie Miller Show” on 9/30/2010:

“Actually, I think really what it was was an effort to get the Tea Partiers to think that they really have some sort of revolutionary plan, because at the beginning they quote a lot from the Constitution, the idea that free people can govern themselves, that the government powers are derived from the consent of the governed.

All that stuff that I think that, that that’s an effort to try to appeal to those people, the Tea Party.

They embrace the Tenth Amendment – ‘tenthers,’ you know?”

The audio of the interview is available here.

That Tenth Amendment is a real load of crap, right?

“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.”

Let’s just go ahead and abolish it so we can have the kind of totalitarian big government that Democrats yearn for.  Because Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, and all these other leftist dictators were just such groovy people, and we need their ilk here in red, white and blue America.

Yeah, that’s right.  Ridicule me, Rep. Schakowsky.  Call me a “tenther” like I’m a “birther” or a “truther” or some sort of nutjob because – unlike Democrats – I actually honor our Constitution and our Bill of Rights.

Jan Schakowsky calls Tea Party people “extreme” because they actually take their Constitution seriously.  But this is a woman who was perfectly willing to abandon principles to turn ObamaCare into a Trojan horse for a socialist single payer system (and see also here).  This is a woman who said:

“A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer” – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (to wild applause).

Marxism and communism is not extreme.  Nope.  It’s not extreme to use ObamaCare as a vehicle to put the private sector out of business so you can sneak in a government-planned economy.  What’s “extreme” is believing in the Constitution that Democrats such as Jan Schakowsky once deceitfully swore an oath to uphold.

Democrats spent over a year imposing 2,700 pages of unconstitutional “laws” upon a people who never wanted it.  And now, amazingly, they’re demanding that Republicans merely recognize that it’s done and over with, and move on.

Fortunately, Republicans DO care about the Constitution.  And they’re going to fight Democrats for the soul of this country.

If Democrats give a damn about the American people, they will join Republicans in demanding that this verdict go immediately to the U.S. Supreme Court for a final judgment.  Rule 11 of the Supreme Court allows particularly important cases that are of imperative public importance to gain such an emergency hearing.  But only if both sides agree.  If Democrats don’t demand this, they will continue to do even more harm in keeping the American people in the dark about how to plan.  Businesses will continue to hold off on hiring, and the economy will continue to suffer until this decision is finalized.

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Why They Are Dangerous: Liberal Justices Make Case Against The Constitution

July 2, 2010

The liberal justices pretty much say, “Screw the Constitution, except for the nonexistent “penumbra and emanations” parts of it that we can make up.”

The nonexistent right to murder your own baby that exists nowhere in the Constitution?  Check.  The clearly stated 2nd Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms (which) shall not be infringed”?  Well, the liberals say they don’t like it, they don’t want it to be there, so screw that right.

The Declaration of Independence makes it crystal clear: rights come from our being created in the image of God.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights

These are natural rights.  The Constitution doesn’t grant them to us; we have them naturally from God, regardless of where we live or what government we have.  And if a government doesn’t allow these natural rights to be expressed, the people have the right to remove that government.

Elena Kagan doesn’t give a damn about natural rights.  For her, they are meaningless.  Government is god; rights come at the whim of Big Brother.

That philospophy flies in the face of Abraham Lincoln’s view.  He believed that the Declaration of Independence DECLARED the foundation of and purpose for the Constitution, saying:

“I should like to know if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares that all men are equal upon principle and making exceptions to it where will it stop. If one man says it does not mean a Negro, why not another say it does not mean some other man?”

Our most fundamental rights derive from God.  They most certainly DON’T derive from government, or from the ideological whims of a bunch of half-wit morally idiotic liberal judges.

The fact that Kagan doesn’t believe that the Constitution itself derives from a more fundamental and more powerful authority, that there is no foundational moral law which itself stands above the Constitution, is why she believes that the government should have no power outside of it.  Which is why she believes that the government may have the power to dictate that you must eat your fruits and vegetables.

Another question which is emerging is exactly what constitutes judicial activism?  Is it violating the Constitution and imposing ones’ will upon it, or is it reversing a terrible decision that had violated the Constitution?

To Democrats, it is the latter:

Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois, his voice dripping with sarcasm, said that for Republicans accusing Democrats of judicial activism, “I have two words for you: Citizens United,” the shorthand name of the campaign-finance case.

Democrats point to what they claim is a nearly century old Supreme Court principle limiting corporations from rights that American citizens clearly have, such as the right of free speech.  And that stare decisis makes overturning that ruling sacrosanct.

But their problem is that those who view corporations as having the same free speech rights as persons under the law has a nearly TWO century precedent supporting it:

In the United States, corporations were recognized as having rights to contract, and to have those contracts honored the same as contracts entered into by natural persons, in Dartmouth College v. Woodward, decided in 1819. In the 1886 case Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394, the Supreme Court recognized that corporations were recognized as persons for purposes of the 14th Amendment.[1][2]

From the railroad case:

In an 1886 tax dispute between the Southern Pacific Railroad and the state of California, the court reporter quoted Chief Justice Morrison Waite telling attorneys to skip arguments over whether the 14th Amendment’s equal-protection clause applied to corporations, because “we are all of opinion that it does.”

Why does violating “sacrosanct” stare decisis for “a nearly century old” precedent qualify as “judicial activism,” but violating a nearly TWO HUNDRED YEAR-OLD precedent not count as judicial activism?

Let’s set aside that we on the right have the oldest precedent on our side, such that the stare decisis argument becomes utterly null and void.  Let’s consider the merits of the case itself.  Heritage responds to that by pointing out:

However, those criticisms ignore the fact that the Austin decision on independent expenditures and the part of the McConnell decision on electioneering communications were outliers in the Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence. The majority’s actions in Citizens United did not constitute judicial activism, but rather upheld basic First Amendment protections against unlawful encroachments by Congress. It is not judicial activism when a judge overturns two relatively recent decisions that were wrongly decided and that are in conflict with a long line of other precedents—particularly if the decision corrects constitutional errors. If this were not true, then the same critics of the Citizens United decision must believe that Plessy v. Ferguson[15] should still be the law of the land today and racial segregation should still be considered “constitutional” since under their slanted and sophomoric definition, the justices of the Supreme Court engaged in judicial “activism” in Brown v. Board of Education.[16] After all, the justices in Brown overturned Plessy and repudiated the “separate but equal” doctrine as unconstitutional—and arguably did so when they decided subsequent cases striking down similar policies by recalcitrant jurisdictions that acted contrary to Brown and its progeny.

Which is to say that the Citizens United case wasn’t a case of judicial activism, in which judges literally invented out of their own warped minds by “penumbras and emanations” a right that had never existed.  It was, rather, a case of constitutional strict constructionists restoring the constitutional principles that had existed prior to a bad law (Austin) being enacted by a group of judicial activists.

You want REAL judicial activism?  How about the liberal justices who voted to overturn the 2nd Amendment guarantee of the individual right to keep and bear arms simply because they don’t like it?

Let’s look to see the vapid legal arguments “justifying” these four moral idiots’ votes:

Gun Shy: Four Supreme Court Justices Make Case Against Constitutional Rights
Jacob Sullum

On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies to states and cities as well as the federal government. Judging from their objections, the four dissenters were still reeling from the court’s landmark 2008 decision recognizing that the amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

In their dissenting opinions, Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen Breyer (joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor) worry that overturning gun control laws undermines democracy. If “the people” want to ban handguns, they say, “the people” should be allowed to implement that desire through their elected representatives.

What if the people want to ban books that offend them, establish an official church or authorize police to conduct warrantless searches at will? Those options are also foreclosed by constitutional provisions that apply to the states by way of the 14th Amendment. The crucial difference between a pure democracy and a constitutional democracy like ours is that sometimes the majority does not decide.

Likewise, Stevens defends “state and local legislatures’ right to experiment,” while Breyer is loath to interfere with “the ability of states to reflect local preferences and conditions — both key virtues of federalism.” Coming from justices who think Congress can disregard state decisions about the medical use of marijuana because a plant on the windowsill of a cancer patient qualifies as interstate commerce, this sudden concern about federalism is hard to take seriously.

Another reason to doubt the dissenters’ sincerity: They would never accept federalism as a rationale for letting states “experiment” with freedom of speech, freedom of religion or due process protections. Much of their job, as they themselves see it, involves overriding “local preferences” that give short shrift to constitutional rights.

Second Amendment rights are different, Breyer says, because “determining the constitutionality of a particular state gun law requires finding answers to complex empirically based questions.” So does weighing the claims in favor of banning child pornography or depictions of animal cruelty, relaxing the Miranda rule, admitting illegally obtained evidence or allowing warrantless pat-downs, dog sniffs or infrared surveillance.

When they decide whether a law or practice violates a constitutional right, courts cannot avoid empirical questions. In cases involving racial discrimination or content-based speech restrictions, for example, they ask whether the challenged law is “narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest” and is the “least restrictive means” of doing so.

But unlike equal protection or freedom of speech, Stevens says, “firearms have a fundamentally ambivalent relationship to liberty.” How so? “Just as they can help homeowners defend their families and property from intruders,” he explains, “they can help thugs and insurrectionists murder innocent victims.”

Every right can be abused, with results that are immoral, illegal or both. Freedom of speech can be used to spread hateful ideas, promote pernicious political philosophies, slander the innocent or engage in criminal conspiracies. If there were no potential for harm from exercising a right, there would be no need to protect it, because no one would try to restrict it.

The dissenters’ most frivolous objection is that making states obey the Second Amendment “invites an avalanche of litigation,” as Stevens puts it. Every day we hear about cases in which people argue that the government has violated their rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth or Eighth amendment. Neither Stevens nor Breyer wants to stop this “avalanche.” Only when the Second Amendment is added to the mix do they recoil in horror at the prospect that Americans will use the courts to vindicate their rights.

I have to laugh that the author of the above piece recoils in horror at the prospect of the Supreme Court voting to ban books because, if they do [read ‘when’], they’ve got a “book banning” advocate in Elena Kagan.

Justice Stevens does not have to worry that his home would be broken into by “home invasion” attackers who storm into a house and terrorize and murder the occupants in the home.  If he did, do you think he would still argue that the ability of a homeowner to protect himself and his family with a gun was somehow nullified by the fact that the criminals could have a gun, too?

Elena Kagan’s mentor was Justice Thurgood Marshall, who once famously said, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up” (see Deborah L. Rhode, “A Tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall: Letting the Law Catch Up,” in the 44 Stanford Law Review 1259 (1992).

WHAT IF WHAT THE JUSTICE THINK IS RIGHT IS REALLY DEAD WRONG?!?!?!

Activist judges have repeatedly throughout history justified slavery, segregation, and racism, abandoning the plain sense of the Constitution in order to impose their views upon the text.  Let’s not forget that it was Democrats who fought to impose slavery, and it was judicial activists who bound the country up with laws that took the bloodiest war in American history to overcome.

What did Thomas Jefferson say about the threat of Supreme Court Justices imposing their own will upon the Constitution and imposing laws on the nation based on nothing but their own wills?

“This member of the Government was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all its organs. But it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:114

“The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other.  But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
—Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804. ME 11:51

“To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.  Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.”
—Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820. ME 15:277

I don’t hear Jefferson praising “you do what you think is right and let the law catch up” as defining the role of our Supreme Court Justices.  In fact, I hear him turning in his grave over the abomination that Barack Obama’s and Elena Kagan’s philosophy is inflicting upon the nation.

[Note: I used the same quotes above in responding to the LAST abomination to the Supreme Court that Obama appointed].

Our Constitution is being poisoned by the left.  One day it will die, and they will be able to erect the Marxist-fascist state they’ve always dreamed of.

How long it will be before that evil day comes – which will undoubtedly occur in a 5-4 decision – is entirely up to you.

Democrats Believe Their Power To Regulate Our Lives Has No Constitutional Limit

December 26, 2009

We can sing the below story to Nancy Pelosi’s famous tune, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” regarding whether she should give the faintest of consideration to the Constitution while she tries to regulate one-sixth of the US economy and force citizens to purchase insurance.

Sen. Feinstein ‘Assumes’ Commerce Clause Gives Congress Unlimited Authority to Mandate Health Insurance
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) – Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that Congress has the authority to mandate that people buy health insurance and that there is no constitutional limit on Congress’ power to enact such mandates, adding that this unlimited authority stemmed from the Commerce clause of the Constitution.

The health care bills in both the House and Senate require that every American purchase a health insurance policy. At the Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Feinstein: “Where in the Constitution does Congress get the authority for an individual health insurance mandate?”

Feinstein said: “Well, I would assume it would be in the Commerce clause of the Constitution. That’s how Congress legislates all kinds of various programs.”

CNSNews.com followed up by asking Sen. Feinstein whether this broad power had any limits: “If there’s a health insurance mandate, is there a limit to that authority? Is there something that can’t be mandated?”

Feinstein responded: “My own view is that there is not, within health insurance.”

The Commerce clause is found in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. It states the numerous powers authorized to Congress, including the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian tribes.”

The Senate version of health reform imposes an historic mandate on all Americans, requiring them to have government-approved health insurance, either through an employer or individually. The mandate also can penalize people with a surtax ranging from $500 to nearly $1,500 per year if they do not have a health insurance policy.

The bill, which looks certain to pass the Senate sometime on Christmas Eve, is unpopular with the public, garnering the support of barely 40 percent of Americans, according to recent national polls. Those numbers led Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele to accuse Congress of “flipping the bird” to the American people.

“This is a bad bill, it is bad, certainly for individuals and enough is enough,” Steele said in a conference call on Monday. “I am tired of Congress thumbing its nose and flipping a bird to the American people. I’m tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future. I’m tired of this Congress not listening to me and to the American people – to all of us.”

In 1994, when the Clinton administration attempted to push a health care reform plan through a Democratic Congress that also mandated every American buy health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office determined that the government had never ordered Americans to buy anything.

“The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States,” the CBO analysis said. “An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.”

My own view is that California should elect a Senator who actually understands or even cares about the US Constitution.

If Feinstein’s “view” were true, then the congress has no constitutional limits whatsoever.  On anything.  If they can regulate private citizens’ behavior or purchases as “interstate commerce,” then they can “regulate” anything and anyone on anything they want.  And this gives them the precedent to do more and more.  The Democrats’ vision of health care “reform” makes the entire idea of constitutional limits null and void.

Let’s call this what it is: a naked power grab.

Fascism, Marxism, take your pick.  We’re getting a hybrid of both (they’re both quintessentially leftist and socialist and totalitarian systems, you know) shoved right down our throats.

The Commerce clause regulates commerce between states.  It has NEVER been used even ONCE in our history to regulated the behavior of individual citizens.

This is almost as appalling as liberal activist judges reading “penumbras and emanations” into the Constitution so they could pull abortion out of thin air.

Democrats have been telling us quite openly that this bill is a clear pathway and vehicle to a government-controlled single-payer system.  It is past time that we took them at their word and started to realize the ramifications of what the Democrats are trying to accomplish.

Democrats aren’t focused in transforming either the quality or the costs of health care coverage.  Their bill does nothing to improve either.  Rather, it lays the architecture for a future socialistic system which they believe that they will ultimately be able to control and use to their own political advantage.  They want power and control.  They want to be able to wield the levers of government and “take care” of everyone and everything – or punish everyone and everything that get in their way.  And when big government has the power to shape things, it shapes them in a way that always favors big government, and favors more and more accumulation of big government.  And Democrats are nothing if not the party of big government.

These people aren’t going to let a little nuisance like the US Constitution get in their way.  Even our own president has repeatedly said disparaging things about our Constitution as well as the men who wrote it.  The once sacred and sacrosanct Constitution has come to mean whatever liberals want it to mean.

Tragically, a look back at history should tell you that the system the Democrats want will hardly be a success.  The fact of the matter is that Democrats are making the same arguments (that health care is a right) and the same promises (that every American will be guaranteed health care) that the Soviets made.

The former Soviet propaganda mouthpiece Pravda is watching America fall into the same catastrophic mistakes Russia did and is laughing hysterically .

The Obama administration and Democrats can swear all they want that rationing won’t be a part of their system, but you sure wouldn’t know it by looking at Obama officials such as Cass Sunstein and Ezekiel Emanuel.  They will be all about rationing.

To summarize, this is a flagrantly unconstitutional power grab, packaged on lies, which can’t even in theory fulfill the pantheon of bogus promises it was sold on.