Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hard Drugs

It is rich, but Raich has come back to haunt those hoping for a legal answer to Obama Care. Just as I predicted in Letter to a Friend.

Reason Magazine has the news.

According to a federal judge in Virginia, ObamaCare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance is constitutional under the Commerce Clause because, under precedents set by previous cases, “Congress has broad power to regulate purely local matters that have substantial economic effects, even where the regulated individuals claim not to participate in interstate commerce.” The ruling, which was released yesterday, dismissed an argument by Liberty University, a Christian school based in the state, that the law should be invalidated because, among other reasons, it unconstitutionally requires individuals to purchase health insurance.

The section of the decision dealing with the mandate leans heavily on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Gonzales v. Raich, a case in which the Court decided that, under the Commerce Clause, Congress could criminalize growing marijuana at home for personal use because failure to do so would upend a legitimate regulatory activity. Yesterday’s ruling by Judge Norman K. Moon quotes Raich to argue that Congress may regulate “purely intrastate activity that is not itself ‘commercial’...if it concludes that failure to regulate that class of activity would undercut the regulation of the interstate market in that commodity."
With the previous understanding the government was merely leasing the taxpayers. It now owns them. But you have to admit the dopers got what was coming to them. And now the rest of us are going to get it. Good and hard.

The Raich case was about pot. So maybe Marijuana is a hard drug after all. Evidently in aggregate it will be hardest on those who don't use it. A very peculiar drug to be sure.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment:

Neil said...

There was never much chance that the lower courts would overturn ObamaCare. The Supreme Court has never found any limits on the Commerce Clause, famously in Raisch, but these questions were settled long before Raisch in the court cases over the New Deal. The Court found that Congress can restrict farmers from producing commodities for their personal consumption.

This was always going go to the Supreme Court, and the plaintiffs will argue that there is a world of difference between restricting the production of a material good, and requiring the purchase of a good or service. The Supremes will almost certainly not overturn previous case law, but they might just limit the Commerce Clause to something just short of utter tyranny.