Jahoclave wrote:I don't have to go through them.
As for the civil rights act. Before we had that act the court was using the commerce clause to enforce desegregation and to combat discrimination. I.E. it can be stretched pretty far, but also that acts of Congress can make interpretation irrelevant.
Okay, I admit you did cite one thing. The two issues you're calling attention to (from what I remember) were one executive order forbidding the federal government to contract with segregated businesses and one law desegregating transportation that physically moved between states. Those aren't even stretches.
BlackSails wrote:Article 1 section 7 gives congress the power to provide for the general welfare of the United States. The federalist papers clearly state that the intention of the elastic clause is to give congress the power to do anything it needs to do to carry out its duties. For example, if congress were empowered to raise an army, but not given the explicit power to institute a draft, but the draft is the only way to raise an army, congress can therefore institute a draft.
Except that the clauses you're citing aren't interpreted that way. "The general welfare" is embedded in a tax and spend clause. It means that Congress can spend money to provide for the general welfare, but it doesn't mean they can force citizens to do stuff for their own good (besides, you know, paying taxes).
It's not a mandate. It is a restriction on how money can be spent. Here is a Federalist paper
(the last four paragraphs are pertinent), and here is a Wikipedia article
(fully cited). It may be interpreted extremely expansively, but it is still a spending clause.
Referring to your comments about the draft: I know it seems strange that a draft is constitutional but mandated coverage is not (even though the former is more intrusive than that latter). But consider that large portions of the Patriot Act have been struck down as unconstitutional as well, and that act was also less intrusive than a draft.
I will fully admit (and the article admits also) that a tax-supported, government-provided coverage is constitutional. But mandated coverage isn't the same thing; they are two completely different schemes.
athelas wrote:As much as I oppose the various health care reforms promoted by the Obama Administration and current Congressional leadership (and as much as I would like to see a more restrictive commerce clause jurisprudence), I do not find this argument particularly convincing. While I agree that the recent commerce clause cases hold that Congress may not regulate noneconomic activity, as such, they also state that Congress may reach otherwise unregulable conduct as part of an overarching regulatory scheme, where the regulation of such conduct is necessary and proper to the success of such scheme.
That sounds like a came from a court opinion. What case is it?
If I had to guess, I'd say it was the one on medical marijuana. Is it? I don't want to look it up unless it is.
I think that's a good line of attack though.
BlackSails wrote:They can also very easily amend the tax code to effectively mandate health insurance and/or force the states to implement it. Heck, they can even just levy a special health care tax that charges money to people without health care.
The courts aren't too keen on letting the tax code be used as a mallet like that. Just imagine a flag-burning tax.
I do have a case though, ripped from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Butler
Dauric wrote:Because it's (theoretically) working the same way as Social Security. Everyone pays in to the insurance system, those who need the healthcare (ie: the elderly and the chronically ill) are effectively subsidized by the insurance payments made by the healthy who don't draw resources out of the insurance system.
Yeah, but that is a government run program and all the taxes for it are "uniform".