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Federal Court Upholds ObamaCare Health Insurance Mandate

A Federal District Court in Michigan has issued the nation's first ruling on the constitutionality of the ObamaCare health insurance mandate that forces all Americans to be insured by 2014 or face fines and the withholding of income tax refund payments by the IRS.

Naturally U.S. District Judge George Steeh cited the Commerce Clause for the basis of his ruling, which stopped a preliminary injunction against the mandate. He noted in his ruling, "The Supreme Court has consistently rejected claims that individuals who choose not to engage in commerce thereby place themselves beyond the reach of the Commerce Clause."

Writing at Outside The Beltway, Doug Mataconis explains,

Based on the current state of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, which goes back to a case called Wickard v. Fillburn in which the New Deal era Court held that a farmer growing wheat on his own farm for his own use could still be subject to regulations of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, this is not at all a surprising decision. In fact, it's fairly clear that if the mandate is to be declared unconstitutional, it would require a Court to determine that 6o-plus years of Commerce Clause case law was wrongly decided. That isn't something that Court's do on a whim, and even a Justice like Antonin Scalia is unlikely to throw out a half century's worth of case law without a very good reason.

Since this is a lower-level Federal Court, Judge Steeh's decision will not be considered binding precedent. Obviously this case is headed for the appeals courts, and will very likely make its way to the Supreme Court.

(Here in Oklahoma, you must purchase health insurance from a company licensed by the state as an Oklahoma insurance provider. I wonder how "interstate commerce" affects this arrangement? Does this mean that inter-state health insurance sales could now be mandated by the Supreme Court?)


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Comments (15)

GO TO HELL JUDGE! With all ... (Below threshold)

GO TO HELL JUDGE! With all due respect.

So.... I guess all of the R... (Below threshold)

So.... I guess all of the Republican politicians and Tea Party loons were full of crap when they kept saying the health care law was un-Constitutional eh?

Gee, I'm very surprised at that.

Don't celebrate yet Dane. ... (Below threshold)

Don't celebrate yet Dane. Egg is hard to wash off one's face once baked in.

BTW, the 'judge' was a Clin... (Below threshold)

BTW, the 'judge' was a Clinton appointee. Go figure.

If you read the decision th... (Below threshold)
jim m:

If you read the decision the judge makes the assertion that choosing not to buy insurance is still a way of participating in the marketplace, therefore government mandating that private individuals pay for insurance is simply influencing a decision of someone already in the marketplace.

This line of reasoning has the benefit that virtually all human activity is therefore subject to regulation under the commerce clause. If choosing not to participate is still considered a form of participation and therefore a regulate-able activity, then anything and everything is subject to direct control by the federal government without restriction.

Based on that weak minded reasoning I suspect that this judge's decision will not stand. This would mean that the people have absolutely no rights what-so-ever except what is specifically stated in the Bill of Rights. This decision turns the 10th amendment on its head.

Hey judge, how come a woman... (Below threshold)

Hey judge, how come a woman has a right to choose but we as Americans dont have a right to choose to or not to have health insurance??

You slick willie hypocrite dumbass..

This case really has nothin... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

This case really has nothing to do with Wickard v. Fillburn at all. The question there was Congress' restriction of wheat production, based on % of acreage. Their justification was the [perceived] necessity of supporting wheat prices by limiting supply. Fillburn admitted exceeding the limit in the wheat he had under cultivation, but claimed the law was not applicable because he grew it all for his own consumption - he fed it to his chickens, his main business.

The court reasoned that his consumption of the excess was irrelevant, since it was the total supply of wheat which was targeted. Whether Fillburn sold his crop and bought processed feed, or keep it to make his own would not affect the total supply.

BUT Fillborn was not compelled to buy anything. He could have grown any number of other unrestricted grain crops to add to his feed mixture.

There is a huge difference in the two cases, but one would hardly expect a Clinton appointee to do other than the wrong thing. Nevertheless, the decisions don't really begin to count until the Circuit Court of Appeals, which set precedent for their respective areas and whose decisions are only overturned at the SCOTUS level for strong reasons.

So Judge, when Prez Obama s... (Below threshold)

So Judge, when Prez Obama sez you've gotta buy a chevy instead of a Ford, it'll be within his right to do so because of the "commerce clause"?

Nice logic.

The conclussion of the Will... (Below threshold)

The conclussion of the Willard decision has been brewing for several decades now. The decision, based on precident decided during a time when America was on the verge of true Socialism, is a direct affront to the body of the desires of our founders.

This one decision has been the basis of every over-reach our central gov't has made since the 1930's. It has placed power at the center of our country and taken it away from states and individuals. Both political parties have been ok with it just b/c of that centralizing of power and the wealth and influence it equates to. Remember the turn over rate in Congress was over 50% until the 1960's, when politicians realized that with senority they could become rich and powerful just by being a "congressman."

It's high time this decision is reviewed and sent packing, power needs to be decentralized and the 9th and 10th amendments need to ascend.

In other news- McDonalds's ... (Below threshold)

In other news- McDonalds's isn't going to drop their health plan for Obamacare...


McDonald's, 29 other firms get health care coverage waivers - USATODAY.com

Ya ever wonder just what the point is for having laws when the exceptions seem to outnumber the folks it actually applies to?

As all New Deal era SC ruli... (Below threshold)

As all New Deal era SC rulings were coerced by a belligerent executive branch, they all SHOULD be overturned. They are not the products of judicial thinking, but of extortion.

We cannot overturn SC decis... (Below threshold)

We cannot overturn SC decisions?
Dred Scoot
Plessy v. Ferguson

Good to know the Court was never wrong.

So, Dane, since the courts ... (Below threshold)

So, Dane, since the courts are always right, I bet you were a huge fan of Bush v Gore?

Behold the power of compoun... (Below threshold)
Joe Miller:

Behold the power of compound idiocy!

So much for equal protectio... (Below threshold)

So much for equal protection under the law.






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