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.Details