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Old gun case could decide health care reform suit

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posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 01:41 PM
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Who would've thought a high school kid taking a gun to class almost twenty years ago could be the one to kill Obamacare.

Attorneys from the states challenging the new law are using the precedent set in this case to challenge the ridiculous provision in the new law that requires everyone to buy health insurance.




Texas case could decide health care reform suit
State officials argue a 1992 ruling on school gun possession is relevant


A Texas high school student's decision to bring a .38-caliber handgun to school in 1992 could end up at the center of the legal fight over President Barack Obama's health care reform plan.

Alfonso Lopez Jr.'s arrest at Edison High School in San Antonio set in motion a legal battle that may prove crucial to 13 state attorneys general fighting the new law.

Lopez, a senior when he was arrested for handgun possession in March 1992, ended up facing federal charges of violating the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990. But the Supreme Court, on a 5-4 vote, threw out his conviction five years later on the grounds that Congress exceeded its regulatory authority under the Constitution when it approved the 1990 law, which makes it a violation of federal law to possess a firearm in a school zone.

Commerce clause cited

In filing a lawsuit last week challenging the new health care law's mandate that everyone must have health insurance, the 13 state attorneys general — including Greg Abbott of Texas — cited the same legal reasoning that went into the Lopez ruling.

At issue in both cases is the Constitution's commerce clause, which limits the regulatory powers of Congress to matters involving interstate commerce. In the Lopez decision, conservatives on the court led by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist ruled that the 1990 gun law was unconstitutional because it had nothing to do with commerce between states.

Upholding the federal government's right to control guns in school zones would give Congress “a general police power of the sort retained by the states,” Rehnquist wrote for the majority.

That's almost exactly the argument the states are making now in a lawsuit filed March 23.

Drawing parallels

Abbott and the other 12 state attorneys general say that health care does not meet the legal definition of interstate commerce, rendering illegal the congressional mandate that all Americans must purchase health insurance.

“In the past 15 years the Supreme Court has scaled back Congress when they've tried to inject themselves into purely state matters,” said one of the 13, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, in an interview on MSNBC.

Read more: Huston Chronicle




posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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guess we will have to wait it out huh?
lets hope for the best, but expect the worse!
s&f



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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I have insurance from my company, however, I am going, and I hope many others will as well, Refuse to provide any information on my tax return stating medical confidentiality.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by whattheh
I have insurance from my company, however, I am going, and I hope many others will as well, Refuse to provide any information on my tax return stating medical confidentiality.


Could you please elaborate ? I am very interested.
What information are you not providing the IRS, and why ?
Thanks,
Noro



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:19 PM
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reply to post by FortAnthem
 


Lopez v. United States is indeed Case Law any individual wanting to challenge the current HCR Bill can and should rely upon, however, I have discovered a Case in Cruzan v. Director MDH where SCOTUS not only upheld states rights, but felt compelled to uphold individual rights as well! That right for the individual they upheld was the long held and revered doctrine of informed consent. What they held was that a competent person as the right to refuse medical service even if such a refusal would lead to their death. If a person has that right, then surely they have the right to decline health insurance.

There is no possible way this odious legislation can legally stand and all the so called "Constitutional scholars" who claim otherwise must truly think that simple document we call the Constitution is just too difficult for the average person to interpret.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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Like it or not, people need to get past the health care bill , it passed.
As for the states that have filed law suits, the cases WILL be dismissed.
And as for being repealed the Senate needs a 2/3 majority vote and the Pres. signature. Do you really think Obama will sign it ?

This is all a ploy by republicans to get campaign contributions and support.

Don't believe me? Let's see how many states cases against the health care program are even open come November.

Don't through good money after bad, and stop buying into a two party system that has failed.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by OLD HIPPY DUDE
Like it or not, people need to get past the health care bill , it passed.
As for the states that have filed law suits, the cases WILL be dismissed.
And as for being repealed the Senate needs a 2/3 majority vote and the Pres. signature. Do you really think Obama will sign it ?

This is all a ploy by republicans to get campaign contributions and support.

Don't believe me? Let's see how many states cases against the health care program are even open come November.

Don't through good money after bad, and stop buying into a two party system that has failed.


The 18th Amendment was passed too, where is it now? Oh that's right, the people had a great proclivity towards simply ignoring that law and drinking anyway, and now that stupid law is gone. Get it?

This may come as a great shock to you, but even if Obama wins a second term to office, that's it and after that it will be another, unless Obama for some crazy reason decided to declare himself dictator and actually succeeded in doing so, then the HCR Bill will be the least of our problems. What makes you think this Bill can only be repealed when Obama is in office?



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


What Lopez says is that there are 3 categories of activities Congress can regulate under the interstate commerce clause

1. Channels of Interstate commerce (e.g. roads, waterways, etc.)
2. Instruments of interstate commerce (cars, railroads, goods in transit) and
3. Activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.

Congress uses category #3 as a basis for many federal laws. Lopez states that Congress must make findings showing the activity it seeks to regulate has a substantial affect on interstate commerce.

In the Lopez Case, Congress goofed. It failed to make findings showing how carrying guns near a school zone affected interstate commerce.

My bet is the Healthcare Bill will withstand attack under Lopez. The Healthcare system clearly has affects on interstate commerce. For example, there are people who do not take jobs in other states for healthcare reasons. Healthcare costs affect businesses engaged in interstate commerce. Hospitals and doctors use medicine and equipment from other states. People even cross state or international borders to get healthcare.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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And there are a lot of stupid laws on the books today.
First of all , all the states involved in the law suit have republican AG's except one.
Like I said, let's see where these law suits are come November elections.

This bill is what TPTB want. It's a done deal.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 04:01 PM
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I guess we will all have to wait and see.

But, I will say this again...I need to put it in my sig. The Federal Government is not mandating INDIVIDUALS to do anything. They are mandating the STATES to do something....and in return the STATES will MANDATE the INDIVIDUALS to do something.

So IMO, the commerace clause justification will hold...because it is mandating the STATES to comply to a mandate...not the INDIVIDUAL.

Yes...it's semantics...but that is how the bill is written...and that is why STATES are currently suing and not INDIVIDUALS. If an INDIVIDUAL wants to sue someone...they will have to sue their STATE.


Do you think I put enough emphasis on the difference between the STATE and the INDIVIDUAL???



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by hotpinkurinalmint
 


Can you elaborate on how not moving to another state due to health care reasons would involve the Commerce Clause? There are people who move to warmer climates for health reasons, but how does this involve interstate commerce? I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Also, I am more bullish on the Cruzan case anyway, as it seems they would have to overturn that case and reject the doctrine of informed consent in order to uphold this legislation. You're the lawyer not me, so I would love to hear your thoughts on that as well.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 04:13 PM
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The two cases are comparing apples and oranges. There is a difference between gun rights and the cost of healthcare and the effects on the economy, on the individual and on the hospitals. Whether everyone likes it or not, everyone is affected, not just a boy going to school.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
The two cases are comparing apples and oranges. There is a difference between gun rights and the cost of healthcare and the effects on the economy, on the individual and on the hospitals. Whether everyone likes it or not, everyone is affected, not just a boy going to school.


It seems to me citing most case law is like comparing apples to oranges as most courts make their decisions based upon the very narrow facts of the case. It is not the case itself that is what is being compared it is the principles upheld in that case that are being compared.

[edit on 6-4-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux
 


The modern case law interprets the commerce cause very liberally. Almost anything that involves interactions between states is "interstate commerce" for purposes of the commerce clause. You would be hard pressed to find an activity that is not "interstate commerce" under the modern case law.

People traveling from one state to another is "interstate commerce" even if their travel is not what you or I would think of a business trip. Even activities that you would think of as being purely local can fall under the interstate commerce clause if those activities could affect interstate commerce.



posted on Apr, 6 2010 @ 07:22 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


The Supreme Court does not grant every petition to hear a case. It only chooses to hear cases that are important. In the Lopez case, the Supreme Court really did not care about some gun law. It heard the case because it was interested in the constitutional issue, namely the interstate commerce clause.

The Commerce Clause of the Constitution gives Congress (i.e. the Federal Government) the authority to regulate interstate commerce. The modern case law has interpreted the commerce clause broadly, giving Congress the authority to regulate virtually anything that does or could possibly involve any interaction between states. The Lopez Case, however, was one of the few cases in the modern era where the Supreme court held a federal statute was unconstitutional because it violated the commerce clause.

Those who oppose Health Care Reform (HCR) are hoping to attack the legislation in the courts. One possible argument is that HCR violates the commerce clause. Given that Lopez was one of the few cases that held a federal law violated the commerce clause, those that want to attack a federal law might hope to hang their hat on Lopez.

You are right in that Lopez does not seem analogous though. Lopez held the law was unconstitutional because congress did not make any findings concerning the effect guns in schools had on interstate commerce. The current HCR should have such findings. It is also obvious that HCR does fall under the commerce clause, given the modern courts' broad interpretation of the commerce clause.



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