The Supreme Court’s Dismal ObamaCare Decision

How conservative legal philosophy helped create the health care ruling

We must beware the dangerous temptation to read our own values into the Constitution and to assume that anything we think good is in there somewhere and anything we think is bad is forbidden.

Sheldon Richman
Reason Magazine

Amid all of Chief Justice John Roberts’s scholastic hairsplitting over whether ObamaCare imposes a tax or a penalty for failing to buy medical insurance, one passage should matter most to advocates of liberty:

Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is not buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax. [Emphasis added.]

We thus are “free” either to become customers of a government-licensed insurance company or to pay a special tax. But we are not free to opt out of this artificially constructed “choice” entirely.

There is much of the case against ObamaCare: It denies us the freedom to opt out. This will be defended as necessary for the operation of the health insurance market or for some other conception of the greater good. But the end does not justify the means. The politicians’ first resort is force. That makes them different from the rest of us.

All-Embracing Power

With few exceptions (and getting fewer), the Constitution does not stand in their way. Courts have long held that Congress may do most anything through its taxing power, even regulating conduct it may not regulate directly…

The article continues at

Related100 Years of US Medical Fascism

…Even though they were only about 13% of physicians in practice,  eclectics and homeopaths did damage to the incomes of the allopaths. The allopaths began organizing at the state level to use the coercive power of government to not only severely restrict (if not outright ban) eclectics and homeopaths, and the schools that trained them, but also restrict the number of allopaths in practice to dramatically increase their incomes and prestige…

Update: Nullifying Leviathan

…But We the People, as ultimate sovereigns who remain the judges of when the “consent of the governed” has been breached, can exercise our unalienable right of nullification at the state level, either by piece-meal constitutional amendments as the need arises (mandates, immigration, Roe, etc.), or by a constitutional amendment generally delegating such nullifying authority to the legislature.

Perhaps it is time to act as individual sovereigns again.

“The fact is that conservative constitutional thought is so much more crisply expressed, and so much more broadly accepted, than liberal thought…”

Concedes Dahlia Litwick, pondering why liberals (supposedly) don’t excoriate the Justices who disappoint them. She notes that “there is a long tradition of liberal counter-argument to the laissez-fair [sic] constitutional vision put forth by the court’s five conservatives,” but “‘liberals have largely forgotten how to think, talk and fight along these lines.'”…

Update 2: The Great Dissent Part II: Four Justices Explain Why Congress’ Power to Regulate Commerce Does Not Save Obamacare

As I explained after the Obamacare decision came down, it is one of the most unfortunate decisions ever handed down by our highest court. This tragedy is only compounded by the fact that the main dissent in the decision was spectacular.

One of the greatest aspects of the dissent was its ringing affirmation of the doctrine of enumerated powers—the cornerstone of our constitutional system, that a central protection of our liberties is that the federal government only has those specific powers granted it by the Constitution…

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