Monday, November 14, 2011

Supreme Court Takes Up Obamacare

Breaking News: This morning the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether Obamacare is Constitutional. The Court granted petitions filed by various parties in the cases originating from Florida. Liberty Legal Foundation is already preparing an amicus brief to be filed in this case.

The Court has allotted 5 hours for oral argument, to be held next March. This is an unusually large allotment of time for oral argument, reflecting the complexity and importance of the issues.

The Court identified three issues to focus on: 1) Whether the individual mandate is within Congresses authority under the commerce clause; 2) Whether the individual mandate is a tax or a penalty; and 3) Whether all of Obamacare must be thrown out if the individual mandate is thrown out.

Once again Liberty Legal Foundation will be the only organization arguing that the commerce clause was grossly misinterpreted by the 1942 Supreme Court in Wickard v. Filburn. We’re the only ones saying that ALL of Obamacare is unconstitutional. The fact that all Obamacare rulings to date reference Wickard illustrates that this precedent is the crux of the issue.

All of the other Obamacare opponents are arguing that the individual mandate simply goes too far. They concede that Wickard v. Filburn is good precedent and, with wishful thinking, advance that the individual mandate is beyond Congressional authority even under Wickard. They are wrong because they refuse to accept that Wickard left no limits on Congressional authority. Thankfully, this is exactly what the DC Circuit Court explained just last week.

By ignoring the problem and focusing on the symptoms, the other Obamacare opponents are playing into Obama's hands. As I’ve written before, the individual mandate was included intentionally to be a lightning rod issue. By focusing on the individual mandate, the other opponents are forced to concede that everything else in Obamacare is constitutional. Obama figured that if he lost this throw away issue, at least the rest of the law would survive. If they won, then they get everything they want and move on to their next violation of individual freedom. In either case most of Obamacare survives.

Liberty Legal Foundation is the only group advancing the clearest solution to the true problem, not just a band-aid fix. But the only way to get there is to first admit that the individual mandate is within Congressional authority under Wickard, because Wickard eliminated all limits on Congressional authority. Only by making this admission can we demonstrate the absurdity of the Wickard precedent and show the Supreme Court the clear solution to the Obamacare question: Overturn Wickard!

The Federal government has now admitted in court that under Wickard there are no limitations on Congressional authority. We must use this rare moment of clarity to assure that the Supreme Court fixes their 70 year-old mistake.

I understand the aversion to admitting that Congress currently has no limits on its authority. But denying the truth does not fix the problem. Everyone needs to accept the fact that Congress has been acting outside its Constitutional scope of authority since 1942. This is why our Federal government is completely out of control. Obamacare is simply the latest proof of this fact. The only way to start to restore our Constitutional Republic is to overturn Wickard.

Even if the other opponents to Obamacare were to succeed, the parties arguing that the individual mandate is “beyond Wickard” would leave Wickard as valid precedent. Their arguments will leave most of Obamacare in place. Their arguments will leave us with a Congress that understands that it has ALMOST no limits on its power. Such a victory would be a hollow one that would leave us worse off than we were before.

We need your support now more than ever. Filing an amicus brief will take a great deal of resources. Please support our efforts to restore our Constitutional Republic.

In Liberty,

Van Irion

Co-Founder, Lead Counsel


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