Judge Hudson Is Right About the Individual Mandate

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson just found the individual mandate central to Obamacare unconstitutional. The provision would force most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014.

Who’s right? Judge Hudson, or Obama and his supporters?

The Constitution created a federal government limited to its enumerated powers. Everything Congress is allowed to do is spelled out in Article I. The 10th Amendment makes it explicit: “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.”

Nothing in the Constitution authorizes any federal involvement in healthcare whatsoever — yet Congress and Obama saw no limits to their power when they passed and signed health care reform earlier this year.

Admittedly, the Supreme Court has ruled that the language empowering Congress to “regulate Commerce … among the several States” applies to an ever-broadening range of activity. The “commerce” clause was originally intended to prohibit interstate tariffs, a supposed problem under the Articles of Confederation.

Ironically, consumers today cannot freely buy health insurance from across state lines. If there’s any legitimate application of the “commerce” clause, it would be to overturn such restrictions. But the framers never gave Congress the general power to regulate industry.

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What If This Were Bush?

cross-posted from The Beacon

It goes without saying that if Bush had presided over a phony end to the Iraq war, expanded the Afghanistan war, extended its reach into Pakistan, solidified the state secrets doctrine and claimed in no uncertain terms the right to assassinate American citizens without due process, the left would be up in arms. The partisan hypocrisy concerning war-related issues is clear.

But what about economic and domestic policy? What if the Bush administration had sunk the country another trillion dollars into debt with the explicit promise that his plan was all that could prevent a 9% unemployment rate – only to then stumble for a year with an unemployment rate closer to 10%? What if the Bush administration had imposed a mandate forcing Americans to patronize the health insurance industry? What if the Bush administration had been in place for these two years since the financial collapse, overseeing an obviously sheepish economy whose only signs of recovery are transparently superficial and temporary bumps in consumption and the employment for census workers? And speaking of “transparency,” what if Bush had vowed to have his deliberations with the medical industry out in the open, to put every major bill on the web before it was voted on, and to have the health care debate on C-Span for all the world to see, only to renege totally on these assurances and every other promise of transparency? What if the Bush administration had simultaneously designated carbon to be a “pollutant” while proposing to create a market in the right to pollute, with credits given to big firms to be bought and sold on Wall Street? What if the Bush administration had overseen the BP oil spill, with regulatory agents asleep at the wheel and had decided, unilaterally, to cap the company’s liability? What if the Bush administration had won an election on one major domestic promise – to take the corruption and chaos out of the financial markets and steady the economy back on track – only to preside over an expansion of the power of the very same agencies that led the markets astray, all the while those markets showed little sign of improving? What if the Bush administration had established such a flurry of ad hoc interventions as to frighten investors away from wanting to invest in the private economy?

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Abolish the TSA

This latest outrage just reminds us of the folly of government airline security. Supposedly there to protect us against terrorists, the TSA works with police and law enforcement agencies when it detects behavior it deems suspicious—which in many cases can lead to crackdowns on victimless crimes or invasions into the private lives of travelers. Kathy…

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Obama Has Solidified the Bush Police State

On virtually all the major civil liberties issues of the Bush era, the Obama administration has followed its predecessor’s example. Detention without trial has continued. Torturers will not be investigated. Warrantless surveillance of the citizenry goes on uninterrupted. What’s more, by vindicating these policies as a left-liberal Democrat, Obama has solidified them in American political…

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I’m Disgusted with this President

The executive director of the ACLU, speaking for many on the left and among Americans who generally favor the Democratic Party, began an important talk last week saying, “I’m going to start provocatively … I’m disgusted with this president.” Why? “It’s 18 months and, if not now, when? … Guantanamo is still not closed. Military…

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Immigration and Big Government

If the Tea Parties and conservative activists want to be serious about opposing big government, they need to abandon their love of border police, immigration controls and statist nationalism. The hysterical response to those on the left comparing the Arizona law to Nazism reminds me of the equally hysterical response to those on the right…

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