Posted by DrJohn on 1 February, 2011 at 10:00 am. 27 comments already!



“For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar”

When Barack Obama was a candidate for President he was opposed to instituting an individual mandate to force everyone to buy health insurance.

“If a mandate was the solution, we could try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody buy a house,” he said on a CNN morning show on Super Tuesday during the election. “The reason they don’t have a house is they don’t have the money. So our focus has been on reducing costs, making it available. I am confident that if people have a chance to buy high quality health care that is affordable, they will do so. And that’s what our plan does, and nobody disputes that.”

And he expressed doubt as to how such a mandate would be enforced

“Senator Clinton is arguing that the only way to get every American covered is if you force every American to buy health care,” Mr. Obama told Iowa reporters in November 2007. “And unfortunately she hasn’t told anybody how she would enforce this mandate.”

But Obama was dragged kicking and screaming into the position that a personal mandate was now necessary.

“I am now in favor of some sort of individual mandate as long as there’s a hardship exemption.”

How about 700 plus of them, mostly for the same unions who lobbied for this exact reform? Obama thought it was hysterical that anyone could think that his plan would increase the cost of health care.

“You may have heard once or twice that this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity. That’s about how it’s been portrayed by opponents,” he joked to laughter among the crowd at a FamiliesUSA conference in Washington.

Those 700 employers have been granted exemptions because complying with Obamacare would be…….wait for it……..

too expensive.

As if that wasn’t amusing enough, along comes Judge Roger Vinson. Vinson should be awarded a Ph.D. in Irony. He ruled that Obamacare was un-Constitutional and he used the words of candidate Barack Obama against the words of President Barack Obama.

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

Vinson’s ruling noted that if Congress could regulate inactivity, it could control just about anything and everything.

In his decision, Judge Vinson wrote, “It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause.” If Congress has such power, he continued, “it is not hyperbolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.”

Vinson had suggested that if Congress could force an individual to buy health insurance that it might also be able to force people to eat a certain amount of broccoli.

Or buy Sarah Palin’s book.

Ezra Klein wet his pants over the ruling

More surprising is that he’s decided that the presence of the mandate means the rest of the law is unconstitutional, too, which is an extremely radical step. The full ruling has a very Bush v. Gore feeling, as Vinson concedes that his position is activist in the extreme and a break from the court’s usual preference for limited rulings, but says, in effect, that he’s going to do it just this once. “This conclusion is reached with full appreciation for the ‘normal rule’ that reviewing courts should ordinarily refrain from invalidating more than the unconstitutional part of a statute,” Vinson writes, “but non-severability is required based on the unique facts of this case and the particular aspects of the Act. This is not a situation that is likely to be repeated.”

That puts Vinson on the far right of this debate….

and began punching keys furiously.

The legal theory currently in vogue in conservative circles holds that the Constitution’s vision of “a central government with limited power” — to use Judge Vinson’s phrase — permits the government to establish a single-payer health-care system that every American pays into through payroll taxes and that wipes out the private insurance industry but forbids the government from administering a regulated market in which individuals purchase private insurance plans and pay a penalty if they can afford coverage but choose to delay buying it until they’re sick.

There’s a chance conservatives will come to seriously regret this stratagem. I think it’s vanishingly unlikely that the Supreme Court will side with Judge Vinson and strike down the whole of the law. But in the event that it did somehow undermine the whole of the law and restore the status quo ex ante, Democrats would start organizing around a solution based off of Medicare, Medicaid, and the budget reconciliation process — as that would sidestep both legal attacks and the supermajority requirement.

John Hinderaker at Powerline is amused:

I’ve often said that I think the Washington Post is the most respectable voice of the Democratic Party, but that paper’s instant analysis of Judge Vinson’s decision, by Ezra Klein, is pathetic. Klein has no legal training, and it shows. His reaction to the decision is shrill, partisan, and unencumbered by any knowledge of the law.

And then the knockout punch

OK, JUST ONE MORE: There is, obviously, considerable humor value in seeing a kid who is on record as believing that the Constitution is too “confusing” to be understood, since it is more than 100 years old, trying to critique the constitutional analysis of a federal judge with almost 40 years of experience as a lawyer and 27 years as a judge. But is the Washington Post really in the business of providing its readers with that sort of amusement?

Maybe Miley Cyrus is available.

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