‘why the 11th circuit is wrong about the mandate’

Steve Benen: …. The legal argument in support of the Affordable Care Act – specifically the individual mandate that ran into trouble at the 11th Circuit – has always been straightforward: the Commerce Clause empowers the federal government to regulate interstate commerce; the American health care system is interstate commerce; and the Affordable Care Act regulates the health care system. Ergo, the ACA fits comfortably within the confines of the Commerce Clause.

Today’s 2-1 ruling didn’t see it this way …. So, what’s the problem with today’s ruling? The reasoning is all wrong. Is the mandate “wholly novel”? That’s certainly open to some debate. The notion of government-mandated purchases is hardly foreign – existing federal laws require millions of homeowners, for example, to purchase flood insurance. Nuclear power plants have to purchase liability insurance, whether they want to or not. The Civil Rights Act mandated businesses engage in commercial activity that owners found objectionable. George Washington signed a law requiring much of the country to purchase firearms and ammunition. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson even supported legislation that required private citizens to pay into a public health-care system, and included a “regulation against a form of inactivity.”

…. This is the sort of ruling that not only relies on weak, politically-motivated reasoning, but also “ignores 60 years of precedent.”

And so a nation turns its lonely eyes to Justice Kennedy.

Full post here

6 Responses to “‘why the 11th circuit is wrong about the mandate’”

  1. 1 nintendowii10
    August 12, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    So will FoxSnooze be calling these clowns “activist judges”? I won’t be holding my breath.

  2. 2 HZ
    August 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    This is where we the people can help in a positive manner with and for our President. We have to my last knowledge 15 plus nominations waiting to go through the Judicial Committee(in some cases they have been approved and out of the Judicial Committee) and are just sitting because the Senate will not take a vote on them. We need to aggressively contact our Senators and the Chairmain Leahy(good man) to push for these nominations to be voted on. This is not fair to President Obama. We need to jam the phones and text or whatever is legal to get these Senator to get these nominations out with a vote so that we can get these judges on the bench and began working these piled up cases. We can do this, I am sure of it. Thank you all for your help.

  3. August 12, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for the update, despite this setback I am confident the ACA will grow more popular each day. Our family loves it.

    Now for a bit of humor to make you chuckle – tweets from the debate


    2 of my favorites

    Has Romney given any hint as to which corporation will be his runningmate?

    To Michele Bachmann the definition of marriage is the union between a closeted man and a crazy woman.

  4. 4 utaustinliberal
    August 12, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    That’s exactly who I’m looking at also. Justice Kennedy. Because if it ever reaches the SC and it gets all murky, his might be the deciding vote. The reasons Steve Benen outlined are the same reasons why I believe the individual mandate is perfectly legal. The Federal Government regulates interstate commerce, that’s why we all have to purchase car insurance, why during the Civil Rights movement racist business owners were forced to serve minorities because of the interstate commerce clause. Why people have to purchase home insurance, renters insurance, liability insurance, flood, hurricane, fire and other natural disasters insurance. During the 90s Newt Gingrich and other republicans including the heritage foundation advocated for an individual mandate to be included in any health insurance bill and now republicans and some courts find that unconstitutional? There’s more than enough precednt to the contrary. *Sigh.*

  5. 5 Tally
    August 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    If the USSC try to overturn the ACA, then they will have put other requirements like auto, flood, homeowners, etc insurance requirements up for repeal as well, not to mention a bazillion other MUST HAVE law purchases. Motorcycle & bike helmets, seatbelts, airbags, x infinity.

    Let them TRY to repeal 30 million people who now have access to affordadable care, kids with pre-existing conditions, and FREE PREVENTATIVE CARE for seniors and EVERYONE WITH INSURANCE.

    I don’t see it happening, especially with the potential wildfire that is buidling around Justice Thomas.

  6. 6 LYNND
    August 12, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Good grief! The media is acting as if this particular court decision, is the be all, end all, final word on the ACA. Those of us who have been following this case know better.

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