The silver lining in the Supreme Court’s decision on ObamaCare is that it ratcheted back Congress’s power and authority under the Commerce Clause. That’s a victory for Freedom, for on page 43 of the Court’s opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts writes (italics added):
“Once we recognize that Congress may regulate a particular decision under the Commerce Clause, the Federal Government can bring its full weight to bear. Congress may simply command individuals to do as it directs. An individual who disobeys may be subjected to criminal sanctions. Those sanctions can include not only fines and imprisonment, but all the attendant consequences of being branded a criminal: deprivation of otherwise protected civil rights, such as the right to bear arms or vote in elections; loss of employment opportunities; social stigma; and severe disabilities in other controversies, such as custody or immigration disputes.”
To repeat, under the Commerce Clause, “Congress may simply command individuals to do as it directs.” So the Chief Justice has done us a favor, as few Americans relish the thought of being bossed around by the likes of the Pelosi-Reid Congress, the worst Congress in history.
What was on trial in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius was the expansion of federal power. The big question in NFIB v. Sebelius was: Does the Commerce Clause grant Congress the power to command individuals to buy a product?
In oral arguments, justices repeatedly asked the Solicitor General for some “limiting principle” so that Congress couldn’t just command Americans to do anything. No such principle was presented, so the Court struck down the individual mandate to buy health insurance.
America is a nation of dual sovereignty, where the States (and the People) retain power except for those powers the Constitution vests in the federal government, which the States created. The federal government is therefore a limited government of enumerated powers. America’s dual sovereignty is unequivocally confirmed by the Tenth Amendment.Details