When I was growing up we had to pass a class on the US Constitution in the 8th grade. That was a while back so I went over to the www to read the document again. Took me about 15 minutes to read the whole thing. With that refresher in my head here is how I understand the US Government is supposed to work….
1. The power of the Executive rests in the office of the President.
2. The power of the Legislature rests in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
3. The power of the Judiciary rests in the Supreme Court.
All three branches were set up with some specific checks against each other and in the case of the Legislature between the House and Senate also. So a bill is formulated and passed by BOTH the House and Senate. The President may at this time sign the bill into law, actively veto it, or passively veto it by not signing it within the allotted time. If questions regarding the constitutionality of the law are raised, that matter is taken before the Supreme Court. Now, the Supreme Court is unlike other courts of law. They do not decide guilt or innocence or fault. They rule only on matters of constitutionality. That’s it.
So now we have a bill that was legally passed and legally signed into law, according to the steps laid out by our governing document. That law has now been challenged and the SCOTUS is hearing the case, and the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA decides to carry out an attack campaign claiming that:
1. SCOTUS is NOT democratically elected (more on this in a minute).
2. SCOTUS has not mandate, power or reason to rule on the constitutionality of a bill passed by the congress and president.
Let me take number two first….THIS IS THE ONLY THING THAT SCOTUS was formed to do. They rule on the constitutionality of everything from the local level on up. They are and should be the last bastion of defense for a self governing people against a tyrannical democratically elected federal government. This is why they have a lifetime appointment. Theoretically this keeps them above politics. Now I know that that is not always the case, however, by and large SCOTUS, whatever it’s makeup, has served the people well. I have my opinions about a few notable rulings, the biggest mistake that I believe was the expansion in scope of the interstate commerce clause decades ago, however we would be at least a lot worse off today without them riding constitutional herd over the other two often goofy bodies.
While SCOTUS is NOT directly elected (neither is POTUS either btw), they are nominated according to due constitutional process by a democratically elected President, and CONFIRMED by a democratically elected Senate and because of this their existence on the bench is well defined and valid within the unique quasi democratic experience that is US Government. SCOTUS is as valid with our representative democracy as the other forms of representation we have.
National health care may well be a very very good idea. However, the US way of doing so must also include our natural right to self determination, even if some of us are determined to be stupid, that is our right.
Let me lay to rest the most common misconception with this bill. Most argue that the mandate included is no different than the many states requiring drivers to be insured. That is a fallacy. First of all, I have the right to not drive and therefore no need for insurance. Second of all, the states require not insurance, but proof of financial responsibility. This means that all I have to do is show that I am capable and will be capable to meet claims for damages that I cause OTHERS while exercising my privilege to drive. I choose to meet this proof in several ways, auto insurance being one way. I can choose to use the insurer I wish to use also.
The individual mandate violates my birth right as a US Citizen. The Constitution stipulates that that the ONLY requirement I must meet to be a US Citizen and reside in the US is be born here. With the mandate, my mere existence in the US requires that I spend money where I may not wish to spend it. My only choices are penalties or leaving my country. That’s it. There is no middle ground.
If the government has the power to say that my participation in a group insurance policy is the key to national coverage and without my participation nothing else is possible, then don’t they also have the power to ban donuts? I mean, it has been proven that donuts can cause health issues like diabetes and clogged arteries. Wouldn’t health care for all be better and cheaper if donuts were outlawed? How about Coca Cola? Think this is a leap? Let’s knot forget the case of the cafeteria police that occurred last year.
The governments job is to govern not to choose for the people. Self determination is a most basic of right, much of it we have already given up. The last shred that we have should be held dear and defended fiercely.