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The Commerce Clause doesn't give Congress extraordinary powers

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posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 03:49 PM
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I was just listening to another debate and another liberal arguing that the commerce clause in the Constitution gives the Government the right to force us to buy health insurance. This is just silly and dangerous and I hope this nonsense is overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Commerce Clause says this:


[The Congress shall have power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;


The Congress can regulate commerce, they can't force you to buy a product.

This violates the liberty and freedom of this country and it's amazing to me that Obama, Pelosi and Reid actually has us discussing if it's okay for the Government to force you to buy a product. This is America, not Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia.

If this stands then America is in deep trouble.

The Government can say the cost of dental care is going up so we want to force everyone to buy at least 1 toothbrush and one tube of toothpaste.

They can say in order to save the planet, every American has to own a hybrid vehicle.

It can go on and on. The Commerce clause doesn't give them this power and if this is allowed to stand, it's truly a sad day in America.




posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 04:08 PM
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Yup. The Federal government does not have the power to force every single citizen of the United States to purchase a product or service, or be punished (fined) if you don't. This is definitely not in the powers vested to the Federal government through the U.S. Constitution.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 04:15 PM
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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, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.


From the Declaration of Independence.


"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it"

I think its time!

www.gotfr.org



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 04:42 PM
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A lot of the whole problem with the misinterpretation of this whole thing is the use of the words in today's world compared to when they were written.

Regulate, legal definition-to bring into conformity with a rule, principle, or usage

This is what it means. Not to mandate. It's legal meaning when it was adopted meant to make regular, as in to make it uniform.

This is just the absolute bull#, our gubment expects us to put up with. Obfuscation and lies. Period.



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 06:54 PM
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Wasn't it in 1938 ina case about wheat farmer using his own product and selling the max allowed by law the court held his personal use was regulated as well? Senseless thinking since the product was withheld from the market. But i believe that case set the unprecedented expansion of the commerce clause. Hmm and so soon after that 1933 business as well.

gj



posted on Apr, 4 2010 @ 07:06 PM
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Ah, the Commerce clause... This is the back door...

The loose or restrictive interpretation of this clause, by the Supreme Court, will make or break the HCR or any other similar act.

Break it down:

Conservative wing:
Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito

Liberal wing:
Justices Stevens, Ginsburg, and Breyer

Middle but leans Conservative:
Justice Kennedy

Unknown:
Justice Sotomeyer (though thought to lean Liberal)

Traditionally, those Justices who lean Conservative will be more likely to adhere to stricter constitutional guidelines (less govt. control, authority over the states) while the opposite is true for the more Liberal Justices. With Kennedy routinely leaning Conservative, there is an edge.

If the HCR act lands in the Supreme Court, it will be VERY interesting to see what happens...



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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Aww, Matrix Rising.....what are you belly aching about this time? With all your "...it's anti American....it's a violation of freedom and liberty...It's socialism....it's this....it's that!"

I don't know why I can't just leave you alone, you don't listen. You must enjoy being in a constant state of paranoia. To you, I am a buzzkill.

Que sera sera!




I was just listening to another debate and another liberal arguing that the commerce clause in the Constitution gives the Government the right to force us to buy health insurance. This is just silly and dangerous and I hope this nonsense is overturned by the Supreme Court.


www.ohioverticals.com...
The Supreme Court has already made rulings pertaining to these issues.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution (aka the Commerce Clause) grants Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states. Since 1937 the Supreme Court has interpreted this to mean that Congress has power to enact legislation regulating economic activity that it has a rational basis for believing, in the aggregate, has a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce. Health insurance coverage – or the absence of health insurance coverage – without a doubt substantially affects interstate commerce. Businesses of all kinds – lawyers, doctors, building contractors – are required to carry insurance. All persons driving automobiles are required by law to purchase insurance. The fact that malpractice insurance or auto insurance must be purchased from private companies does not present a problem under the Constitution. The individual mandate contained in the health care bill does not impose a criminal penalty. Nor is it a "taking" under the 5th Amendment, which implicitly prohibits the taking of private property for private use. Instead, as Jack Balkin and Ruth Marcus note, the individual mandate is a tax. The law simply says to individuals and employers, "Purchase health insurance coverage or pay a fee." Under Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution, the only limit on the power of the federal government to tax and spend is that it be "for the general welfare." And, as the Court stated in the case of South Dakota v. Dole (1987), "In considering whether a particular expenditure is intended to serve general public purposes, courts should defer substantially to the judgment of Congress." Furthermore, the Constitution expressly addresses state's sovereignty. Article VI, Clause 2 of the Constitution states: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

healthcarereform.nejm.org...
The Constitutionality of the Individual Mandate for Health Insurance
Jack M. Balkin, J.D., Ph.D. From Yale Law School, New Haven, CT.

Congress has the power to pass legislation that falls within any of its powers enumerated in the Constitution. There are two obvious sources of congressional power. The first, described in the General Welfare Clause, is the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.” The second, laid out in the Commerce Clause, is the power “to regulate commerce . . . among the several states.” The individual mandate is a tax. Does it serve the general welfare? The constitutional test is whether Congress could reasonably conclude that its taxing and spending programs promote the general welfare of the country.1 This test is easily satisfied. The new health care reform bill insures more people and prevents them from being denied insurance coverage because of preexisting conditions. Successful reform requires that uninsured persons — most of whom are younger and healthier than average — join the national risk pool; this will help to lower the costs of health insurance premiums nationally. In 1942, the Supreme Court held that Congress could regulate wheat grown for home consumption as part of a general regulation of farm production.4 People who grew wheat at home substituted it for wheat products they would otherwise purchase in the market; cumulatively, this practice had a substantial effect on interstate farm prices. Similarly, in 2005, in Gonzales v. Raich, the Court held that Congress could regulate marijuana grown for home consumption as part of a general ban on controlled substances, because Congress reasonably concluded that people would substitute homegrown marijuana for other marijuana purchased in black markets.3 The individual mandate taxes people who do not buy health insurance. Critics charge that these people are not engaged in any activity that Congress might regulate; they are simply doing nothing. This is not the case. Such people actually self-insure through various means. When uninsured people get sick, they rely on their families for financial support, go to emergency rooms (often passing costs on to others), or purchase over-the-counter remedies. They substitute these activities for paying premiums to health insurance companies. All these activities are economic, and they have a cumulative effect on interstate commerce. Moreover, like people who substitute homegrown marijuana or wheat for purchased crops, the cumulative effect of uninsured people’s behavior undermines Congress’s regulation — in this case, its regulation of health insurance markets. Because Congress believes that national health care reform won’t succeed unless these people are brought into national risk pools, it can regulate their activities in order to make its general regulation of health insurance effective.



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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In 1942, the Supreme Court held that Congress could regulate wheat grown for home consumption as part of a general regulation of farm production.
People who grew wheat at home substituted it for wheat products they would otherwise purchase in the market; cumulatively, this practice had a substantial effect on interstate farm prices.
Similarly, in 2005, in Gonzales v. Raich, the Court held that Congress could regulate marijuana grown for home consumption as part of a general ban on controlled substances, because Congress reasonably concluded that people would substitute homegrown marijuana for other marijuana purchased in black markets.
The individual mandate taxes people who do not buy health insurance. Critics charge that these people are not engaged in any activity that Congress might regulate; they are simply doing nothing. This is not the case. Such people actually self-insure through various means. When uninsured people get sick, they rely on their families for financial support, go to emergency rooms (often passing costs on to others), or purchase over-the-counter remedies. They substitute these activities for paying premiums to health insurance companies.
All these activities are economic, and they have a cumulative effect on interstate commerce. Moreover, like people who substitute homegrown marijuana or wheat for purchased crops, the cumulative effect of uninsured people’s behavior undermines Congress’s regulation — in this case, its regulation of health insurance markets. Because Congress believes that national health care reform won’t succeed unless these people are brought into national risk pools, it can regulate their activities in order to make its general regulation of health insurance effective.
One final argument against the individual mandate is that it violates the Fifth Amendment by allowing the government to take property without just compensation. “Takings” occur when the government seizes property from particular individuals; a familiar example is a local government’s taking of land by eminent domain. Ordinary income taxes and excise taxes that are levied on a large population and that regulate people’s behavior by taxing their income or consumption choices are not considered takings under the Constitution.
The individual mandate is just such a tax — not a taking. Although opponents will challenge the individual mandate in court, constitutional challenges are unlikely to succeed. The Supreme Court will probably not even consider the issue unless a federal court of appeals strikes the tax down. In that unlikely event, the Supreme Court will almost certainly uphold the tax, at least if it follows existing law.
To strike down the individual mandate, it would have to reject decades of precedents. It is very unlikely that there are five votes on the current Court for staging such a constitutional revolution.

Financial and other disclosures provided by the author are available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org.
Source Information
From Yale Law School, New Haven, CT.
This article (10.1056/NEJMp1000087) was published on January 13, 2010, at NEJM.org.
References

1. Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619 (1937).
2. Hylton v. United States, 3 U.S. 171 (1796).
3. Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005).
4. Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942).





The Congress can regulate commerce, they can't force you to buy a product. This violates the liberty and freedom of this country and it's amazing to me that Obama, Pelosi and Reid actually has us discussing if it's okay for the Government to force you to buy a product. This is America, not Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia.


Nobody is forcing you to do anything of the such. However, no longer can freeloaders trot around without some coverage and expect everyone else to foot the bill when they go to the ER or catch a cold.

If you don't want to carry some type of health coverage from an insurance company of your choice, than you will have to pay a fine by way of taxes. But, if you fail to pay said fine you know what they'll do? Nothing!

On the enforcement of the mandate, the bill states:

(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES- In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty posed by this section, such taxpayer shall NOT be subject to ANY prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.

So the penalty for not getting insurance is a fine, and the penalty for not paying the fine is NOTHING!!!!!!!




If this stands then America is in deep trouble.


AHHHHH! Run for your lives!! Obama, Pelosi, Reid, oh my! The horror!! Everyone will be covered by insurance, why God, why?!!!




The Government can say the cost of dental care is going up so we want to force everyone to buy at least 1 toothbrush and one tube of toothpaste.


Ewww! Please tell me the government doesn't have to tell you to brush your teeth.

I used to own a business. I was required to carry insurance by the government, and it was expected that I have insurance by my customers or they didn't use my services. It protected me in case I screwed something up I would lose my business paying for any damages. It also protected my customers if I screwed something of theirs up they knew it would be replaced at no cost to them. Win-Win. Doctors are required to carry insurance, lawyers, veterinarians, mechanics, car dealers, building contractors, McDonalds, and ALL car drivers.




They can say in order to save the planet, every American has to own a hybrid vehicle.


You are horribly misinformed. "They" can NOT. They can however impose a tax on polluters of the environment. And "they" do, by way of fines for littering, carbon polluting, dumping crap in our water, etc. It is a way for government to protect the people. You do want your government to do that, right?




It can go on and on.


I find that phrase used a lot by people who only have talking points and no facts. Translation: I have nothing else, but I want you to think I do, so you won't challenge me.






[edit on 8-4-2010 by 12GaugePermissionSlip]



posted on Apr, 8 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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The Commerce clause doesn't give them this power and if this is allowed to stand, it's truly a sad day in America.


Yes, it certainly does, and it's a great day for the people of this country to be able to come together, pool our money together, and get a better price for health coverage without pre-existing conditions for all Americans.

Praise be to America on this glorious day, when we stood up and said enough! Enough of the insurance companies gouging us with higher rates year after year.
Enough of denying the children, the elderly, and the sick health coverage in their time of need.
Enough of having freeloaders going to the ER without health insurance and we all having to pay their bills because of their irresponsibility.
Enough of being job locked for fear of losing our health coverage.
Enough of the untold bankruptcies due to being sick or injured.
Enough of the 45,000 of our fellow countrymen dying each year from lack of coverage.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by 12GaugePermissionSlip
 


I see your understanding of the Constitution is about as backwards as the courts adjudicating those decisions.

At the time of the Constitution's writing, to "regulate" literally meant "to keep regular." That is to say, the purpose of the commerce clause was to ensure trade was not disrupted between the states by anti-free trade regulations.

For example, if a state tried to tariff the goods of another state, the federal government was granted the authority to step in and prevent those tariffs.

The Constitution lays out 17 explicit enumerated powers in Article 1 Section 8. If the commerce clause gave the government the power to regulate every aspect human existence under the sun, the explicitly defined powers under Article 1 Section 8 would be completely redundant and pointless.

It also stands to reason the FEDERAL courts would rule the commerce clause gives the FEDERAL government total authority to do anything it likes because the FEDERAL courts are a part of the FEDERAL government! - Why wouldn't they rule as such?



[edit on 9-4-2010 by mnemeth1]



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:29 PM
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I'm not going to spend a great deal of time on this as I have already taken the liberals to school on this issue dozens of times. But, I would like to address the "Welfare" clause. It states, in part "..and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.” No where in there does it say anything about the CITIZENS. At the time the Constitution was written, "General welfare" was framed around Common Law and sovereignty. Ergo, the obligation of the US Government was to defend the country and maintain an environment that would NOT permit INFRINGEMENTS upon sovereign individuals. Ironically, this law does EXACTLY that what the clause was designed to prevent!

When having these debates it would be helpful if people actually knew what they were talking about! Instead we have Congressmen citing the "Good and welfare clause" as the permissable portion of the Constitution. There should be a civics test that EVERY politicians MUST pass in order to serve!



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


The Supreme Court has interpreted the commerce clause very broadly to include almost anything that has an affect on any interaction amongst the states. You would be hard pressed to find an activity that does is not fall under the umbrella of "interstate commerce" under the current case law.

An contemporary case that covers interstate commerce is the case of Gonzales v. Raich. The case involved someone who violated federal marijuana laws by growing a small medicinal marijuana garden for her own personal use. The garden was allowed under state law.

Five Justices, including arch-conservative Scalia, sided with the federal government. They ruled the federal government could regulate personal marijuana gardens because such gardens could have an affect on interstate commerce.

If personal marijuana gardens can have an affect on interstate commerce, surely an industry which makes up one seventh of the GDP can have an affect on interstate commerce. Thus, the HCR bill will withstand attacks based on the Commerce Clause.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:03 PM
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Originally posted by hotpinkurinalmint
reply to post by LadySkadi
 


The Supreme Court has interpreted the commerce clause very broadly to include almost anything that has an affect on any interaction amongst the states. You would be hard pressed to find an activity that does is not fall under the umbrella of "interstate commerce" under the current case law.

An contemporary case that covers interstate commerce is the case of Gonzales v. Raich. The case involved someone who violated federal marijuana laws by growing a small medicinal marijuana garden for her own personal use. The garden was allowed under state law.

Five Justices, including arch-conservative Scalia, sided with the federal government. They ruled the federal government could regulate personal marijuana gardens because such gardens could have an affect on interstate commerce.

If personal marijuana gardens can have an affect on interstate commerce, surely an industry which makes up one seventh of the GDP can have an affect on interstate commerce. Thus, the HCR bill will withstand attacks based on the Commerce Clause.


Hotpink... to that extent you are 100% correct. You have to take into context what happened in 1933 when Common Law was replaced with Uniform Commercial Code - therein lies the ENTIRE problem with government today. Using slippery slope arguments the USSC isn't left with any choice given existing case law - literally EVERYTHING is connected to interstate commerce in this sense. If I grow tomatoes in my garden, some tomato farmer two states away loses me as a customer, thus affecting his "Commerce". To that end, does the Congress have the authority to restrict my right to grow tomotoes?

The founders went to painful lengths to ensure that this type of thing never happened. In 1933 a quiet coup was laid upon the country which laid the foundation for the government to legislate even the most insignificant aspects of our lives. Anyone who is intellectually honest can see that this was never the intent. The only reason that you see the liberals in support of this is because they believe in a nanny state. I wonder how excited they would be if they were mandated, under the commerce clause, to only buy Monsanto genetically modified food crops and were thusly prohibted from having a home organic garden. In principal you can not support one and not the other.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:16 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


The 1930's was an era where the Constitution as we knew it changed in the eyes of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court was shooting down the New Deal Legislation as unconstitutional. FDR threatened to pack the court with more justices who would see things his way unless the Supreme Court backed down.

FDR won. The Supreme Court began interpreting the Constitution much differently so the New Deal would stand. The Supreme Court broadened the Commerce Clause to the point where Congress can now regulate virtually anything and it eroded separation of powers.

Here is a wikipedia article on FDR's court packing attempt.

FDR's Court Packing



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by kozmo
 


I would not say liberals take the "modern" view of the Constitution because they want a "nanny" state. Liberals take the "modern" view because it is necessary for a modern state.

Today's modern state requires things like nationally uniform standards, complex reguationss, and a modern health care system. The 19th century view works for a 19th century government. At the very least we need a 20th century view for a 21st century government.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:24 PM
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reply to post by Ferris.Bueller.II
 


Actually this kind of BS has already have a precedent. That's called car insurance.

Don't have it? You go to jail.

But they won't force you to buy a car so it's kinda different.

I agree, THIS MUST NOT STAND AT ALL COST.

[edit on 9-4-2010 by Vitchilo]



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 08:35 PM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 


True, but it goes so much further than simply packing the USSC. Begin here to learn more: American Patriot Friends Network



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