This is a case of first impression. That is to say, no Supreme Court case has ever allowed the federal government to force people into the stream of commerce. Neither has the high court ever permitted the federal government to compel its citizens to buy a government-defined product. If government has the authority to force unwilling citizens to purchase health insurance, then there is simply no limit to the power this mushrooming centralized mammoth can wield.
On Tuesday, Virginia will challenge the individual mandate, while the Liberty Counsel will go after both the individual and employer mandates. As with Virginia’s case, the Liberty Counsel argues that Congress lacks authority under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Taxing and Spending Clause to implement this unparalleled power-grab.
The Liberty Counsel also raises other constitutional objections, including issues relative to the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the Fifth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
Mr. Staver commented on the case in advance of Tuesday’s historic oral arguments: “It is the hope of many Americans that this lawsuit is a fast track to the ultimate demise of this overreaching health insurance law. This law represents an astonishing extension of the federal government into the personal and business decisions of Americans. If Obamacare should be upheld by the courts, then there are no limits on what Congress can do. I think it is clear that Congress far exceeded its authority under the Constitution.”
Indeed, when one’s stated goal is to “fundamentally transform America,” the U.S. Constitution, as intended by our nation’s founding visionaries, becomes a significant encumbrance rather than an instrument of freedom.
It’s little wonder that exceeding constitutional authority has become the defining hallmark of this, the most radical presidential administration in American history.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).