-By Warner Todd Huston
On April 20, Michael Mukasey appeared before the Republican Lawyers Association’s National Policy Conference and C-SPAN cameras were there to record his discussion of the conference theme: Restoring a Government of Laws: The Obama Administration v. The Constitution.
Mukasey, the former Bush Administration Attorney General, headlined a half hour discussion — which included a Q&A session — and offered one of the more cogent explanations I’ve seen of why Obamacare is so wildly unconstitutional.
The whole presentation is worth watching but one of his answers during the Q&A segment was particularly important.
One of the attendees asked if Mukasey regale tell them with his hypothetical argument in support of Obamacare. Mukasey joked that his supporting argument would be “an extraordinarily short opinion,” but his more detailed answer actually presented a concise argument to the opposite; why Obamacare is simply unconstitutional. (At about 25 minutes into the segment)
It’s not law, it’s not limiting principle, it’s not… I guess it would look not unlike Solicitor General Verrilli’s, “Gee, people are really sick, we gotta do something, and these damn states just can’t take care of these sick people so let’s ignore the Constitution and…” Usually they’re not that candid.
There are no legal arguments — and if there were I sure wouldn’t be telling you — there are no legal arguments in support of Obamacare and that is why it’s not a coincidence that Congress for 230 years has never tried this before. They’ve had millions of opportunities where they, all kinds of crises, the height of the New Deal, all… you know, nobody required you to buy war bonds during WWII and that was because it was literally unthinkable that in a nation postulated on the principle that the people are sovereign to the government, that the government can commandeer the people to do something and they are merely required to salute and say yes sir… particularly when it’s the federal government which by definition had its powers limited and enumerated precisely because they couldn’t engage in this sort of tyrannical police power.
And that really was the odd thing about this whole debate from the Solicitor General’s perspective, he kept saying, “look, the way the act did is a much more efficient way of getting money into the insurance companies coffers than if we had followed this Commerce Clause thing and conditioned access to healthcare providers and then made you buy insurance.” And I was like, “Yeah. That’s exactly right.”
I can’t conceive of a system… more badly equipped to force citizen A to give his property [i.e. his money in insurance costs as discussed earlier in the program] to citizen B than the system the framers came up with. That simply reflects the fact that the framers didn’t want to make wealth transfers between the citizenry easy they wanted to make it impossible.
So, it doesn’t reflect any flaw in our reasoning, it reflects only the fact that the paradigmatic example of what the framers were trying to deprive the federal government, the power that they were trying to deny the federal government, was wealth transfers among the citizenry and that’s precisely why they didn’t give them the police power.
So, you can use that as my dissenting opinion [to Obamacare].
Very well put, that.
Obamacare cannot possibly be Constitutional. If the government can compel us to buy health insurance, the simple fact of the matter is that there will be nothing under the sun that the government cannot make us do from this point forward. If Obamacare stands it will forever destroy the sovereignty of the people and place all power in the capricious, often feckless hands of the president and congress.
The American Republic will become a dead letter, an historical artifact.
Sadly, this is exactly what the radical in chief wants. He wants supreme, tyrannical, dictatorial power to do anything he feels like doing at any given moment. As Mukasey notes, the founders wanted to avoid giving the president or congress these king-like powers over the people.
Obama plans to wipe out their handiwork.