Sunday, February 27, 2011

Reid Files Brief in Health Reform Challenge

Reid Files Brief in Health Reform Challenge

"The lawmakers said they closely considered the constitutionality of the reform law when they passed it, and were confident they did the right thing."



B. Johnson said...

Reid and Pelosi undoubtedly rely on the fact that most citizens don't know the Constitution and its history when they make indefensible statements about federal healthcare. But citizens who do their homework may find the following.

First, Thomas Jefferson had clarified the scope of Congress's power with respect to the Commerce Clause (1.8.3).

“For the power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State, (that is to say of the commerce between citizen and citizen,) which remain exclusively with its own legislature; but to its external commerce only, that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes.” –Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791.

Given terms like "does not extend" and "exclusively," Jefferson made it clear that Congress has no business sticking its big nose into intrastate commerce.

Next, Jefferson foreshadowed healthcare issues, indicating that the states, not Congress and the Oval Office, had the authority to deal with such issues as evidenced by "the care of our persons" regarding the states in the following excerpt.

"Our citizens have wisely formed themselves into one nation as to others and several States as among themselves. To the united nation belong our external and mutual relations; to each State, severally, the care of our persons, our property, our reputation and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson: To Rhode Island Assembly, 1801.

Next, given Jefferson's words about the limited scope of Congress's powers, it's not surprising that the USSC has already decided that Congress has no business sticking its big nose into intrastate medical practice.

“Direct control of medical practice in the states is obviously beyond the power of Congress.” –Linder v. United States, 1925.

The bottom line regarding the scope of the federal government's powers which Reid and Pelosi are wrongly ignoring is this. Particularly since the days of anti-republic socialist FDR, Congress has refused to humble itself and petition the states for grants of specific new powers as required by Article V, the federal government's best kept secret. Repealing 17A is arguably the simplest remedy for this problem, imo.

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