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WhiteHouse.Gov Blogger Knows Just Enough to be Dangerous

Looks like a great idea.

Why would the White House, if it was so certain about its position on the constitutionality of the healthcare bill, have Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President for Special Projects (huh?) blog about the ruling in Virginia that I wrote about here yesterday? I’m not sure, but reading Ms. Cutter’s post is similar to listening to progressive talk radio; it’s full of over-generalized statements of certainty with no underlying support.

Having failed in the legislative arena, opponents of reform are now turning to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government.

That’s the Obama Administration’s shout-out to those annoying courts.  How dare they function as the third branch of government?  Who do they think they are evaluating legislation for its constitutionality?  Stupid Constitution.

Today’s decision merely said that the Virginia Attorney General has standing to challenge the lawsuit – which means that the court has jurisdiction to hear further arguments.

The assertion that the court merely ruled that the Virginia Attorney General has standing to challenge the legislation (not the lawsuit, as Cutter incorrectly states) is what we, in the fancy, smarty-pants legal world refer to as a lie.  Standing was only one basis for the government’s motion to dismiss Virginia’s complaint.  A second, and far more important reason, was the government’s assertion that Virginia didn’t state a cause of action upon which relief could be granted.   In other words, the federal government argued that Virginia’s complaint failed, as a matter of law, because Congress could clearly do what it was trying to do.  The court, rightfully so, said it isn’t clear that Congress can do what it is trying to do, i.e., force citizens to purchase a product on the private market or face a penalty.

The fact is, all of this liberal meme about how the healthcare law being supported by long-standing and well-established legal precedents is complete garbage.  Ask any person making this assertion to provide one such example of Supreme Court precedent and you know what you’ll get?  Crickets.  That’s because there isn’t any.

Now that this preliminary stage has ended, the government fully expects to prevail on the merits.   The Affordable Care Act falls well within Congress’s power to regulate under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.   As President Reagan’s Solicitor General Charles Fried recently wrote, ‘the health care law’s enemies have no ally in the Constitution.’

Sigh.  Well if a Reagan Solicitor General who is a Harvard law professor thinks so then it must be true!  Look, contrary to what many like to say nowadays, Reagan was not some conservative god.  Yes, he was better than our last four presidents (and certainly the mental midget that came immediately before him), but is that really saying much?  Simply put, Charles Fried is an unabashed Obama supporter, and the arguments he sets forth in his Boston Globe Op-Ed make me think I could be a professor at Harvard.  Fried’s absolutely certain that Congress can force people to buy health insurance because it can regulate interstate commerce.  Unfortunately, he jumps right over the fact that telling someone that they can’t sell something is a lot different then forcing them to buy something.  It must be his Harvard intelligence.

After all, over 70 years of settled law is on the side of the Affordable Care Act.

Where?  Can anyone tell me where?  Look, I’m aware that the Supreme Court has rarely limited Congress’s authority under the commerce clause.  But all of those cases share one thing in common: they involve Congress regulating an economic activity, not compelling people to take part in an economic activity.  The Supreme Court may go along with the Obama Administration on this one, but it’ll have to use some serious White-Out on Webster’s dictionary to do it.

The remaining portion of the White House blog doesn’t analyze the law.  It explains why the mandatory buy-in is necessary for the healthcare law to work.  That’s mostly window dressing as far as the case goes.  The central issue is whether Congress has the constitutional authority under the commerce clause to compel people to purchase insurance, and if they don’t, to penalize them.  That’s it.  Considering the fact that the current Administration and its cohorts believe the healthcare law is so clearly constitutional, it’s more than a little disingenuous to call the Virginia court’s denial of their motion to dismiss due to a lack of such clarity just a procedural step.

And Stephanie Cutter should stick to Special Projects.

  1. mary
    August 3, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    “Having failed in the legislative arena, opponents of reform are now turning to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government.”

    Would this be the flip side of having the citizenry vote on and pass a law, only to have the feds “turn to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work” of the citizenry?

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