Senator Grothman’s Comments on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Obamacare
Madison: Well, Chief Judas, er Justice Roberts continued a long tradition of disappointing justices appointed by Republican presidents of trashing the Constitution by upholding the bulk of Obamacare in yesterday’s decision, siding with four predictable justices appointed by Clinton and Obama. Like many conservatives, I had gotten my hopes up that we might have a majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that would make a decision in line with what the Founding Fathers anticipated and what would have been automatic in the first 140 years of our republic.
Upon reading the decision, it is disappointing that only Justice Thomas realized that this massive expansion of government power should be struck down under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Justice Thomas proves that it is possible to get a law degree from an Ivy League university without being entirely brainwashed into thinking the Constitution is something entirely different in 2012 than in 1789 (all nine justices went to Harvard or Yale Law Schools). Three other justices did have the fortitude to strike down this new law as well.
The Chief Justice had to rely on the rather convoluted reasoning that a penalty on people who do not want to purchase insurance is actually a tax. Under this interpretation, the U.S. Congress could mandate any private behavior by any individual in the country simply by having the fine collected by the Internal Revenue Service – an absurd result.
Obviously, we must hope the law will be repealed in January prior to its taking effect. The court referenced with approval Wickard v. Filburn, a 1942 case, in which a farmer was barred from growing wheat on his own to feed his own farm animals. This decision, reached at the height of Franklin Roosevelt’s power, should have been overturned -not been used as precedent for how far the Commerce Clause can be stretched. The court had a golden opportunity to set a precedent by setting the country straight on what the 10th Amendment, the term “general welfare”, and the Commerce Clause really mean. They dropped the ball.
Hopefully, this decision will cause institutions governing law schools to institute some kind of affirmative action for conservatives in the hiring of faculty members. It also calls into question as to whether we should continue the practice of having all nine justices have a primarily legal background. The only good news is that four justices were willing to strike this law down, and perhaps with new appointments beginning next year, Justice Thomas can begin to forge majorities that get government out of areas our forefathers wouldn’t have anticipated.
We must remember that the reason our country is facing bankruptcy is not only because of out-of-control presidents and Congress, but also because of Supreme Courts that have abdicated their responsibility of reining in government since the 1930s.