and Judge Kessler of the DC circuit court does. It's all to defend Obamacare.
Martin Karo has some thoughts too at Powerline: "Judge Gladys Kessler of the federal district court for the District of Columbia actually held, on page 45 of her ruling upholding Obamacare, that Congress has the right to regulate mental activity."
Gabriel Malor looks on the reasoning.
The split is one of worldview. For many Democrats the federal government's power is nearly unlimited or should be. That has been the foundational premise of almost all "progressive" litigation and a great deal of Democratic legislation, which seeks to impose solutions on backward individuals and states that just won't get with the
And so Judge Kessler's "struggle" with the question of whether the Commerce Clause justifies forcing every person who takes breath in the United States to buy health insurance merely because they are breathing in the United States isn't much of a struggle after all. She goes the same route as her Democratic fellows who determined that the
Commerce Clause doesn't regulate just commercial activity but all decisions which have an economic effect. At least she has the grace to admit this is new ground
And the consequence of such a worldview?
Of course, if Judge Kessler is correct, then every "mental activity" that has an economic effect is subject to regulation by the federal government. This would indeed justify a mandate to buy broccoli or GM cars or whatever because your decision not to make such purchases is "economic activity" that affects the price of these goods in the interstate marketplace.
She tries to distinguish a health insurance mandate from these kinds of mandates by saying, essentially, that health insurance is special because there is simply no way any American will ever go their entire lives without consuming health care. Note the casual conflation of health insurance with health care. But also note that this "health
care is special" argument works for any market, so long as it is defined broadly enough. For example: no American will ever go their entire lives without consuming food. Therefore, a food mandate requiring the purchase of minimum quantities of food with pre-approved nutritional features would pass muster under Judge Kessler's
Oh unintended consequences you're so funny. And you've gotta love a legal ruling where a judge, who acknowledged that the governmental power she's approving of is vast and novel, is snidefully dismissive of the plaintiffs that object to the government trying to bully its way into a new and expansive power.
Such rulings (all coincidentally by Democratic President appointees) greatly underscore the danger of the Individual Mandate. As Judge Kessler said, this is a new expansion in the scope of the government's power to control your life, and contrary to what she says, health insurance is not special.
If this law stands then more will come. Think of the other things that by mere existence people require or use at least once over the course of their life: food, shelter, employment, speech.
How about mandates for those? We can eliminate obesity (let's ignore what it means, historically, to have a society where too much food is the problem instead of the reverse), unemployment, and homelessness with the stroke of a pen!
And, of course, if the government can regulate all decisions (as long as they have an economic consequence!) then why is there even a Constitution? What's the point of a founding document of limited government if the government has no limits?
As Malor said, it comes down to worldview. The Liberals/Progressives think there should be no limit to what the government can do, and thus are quite angry at anything that says otherwise. Hence madness such as this.
William A. Jacobson looks at the logic of this ruling as well
Our thoughts are now actions. There literally is nothing the federal government cannot regulate provided there is even a hypothetical connection to the economy, even if the connection at most is in the future.
Which causes Bruce McQuain at Hotair to go cross-eyed.
Excuse me while I sit down and ponder all of that for a moment. Anytime you make a choice not to act you are "acting". Therefore, the court has now decided, any decision to not to act (related to commerce) is an act and you can be therefore required to do what the government says you must do.
Or, more succinctly, you have no real choice regardless of what you decide, so sayeth the court.
If I decide not to buy a car, I’m acting, and if the government wanted to require me to buy a car, under this ruling, it could.
Yes, this is the road that Obamacare takes us down. This is what the democrats want.
But don't worry, its all for the greater good. That's why they want to regulate your ability to make a decision that could one day hurt the greater good.