13 Attorney generals to challenge the Health Care Bill.Obama being a Constitutional Attorney wouldn't sign it?
he took a oath to uphold the constitution didn't he.
- SageLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
Obama will sign the bill because he believes in a "living" Constitution, i.e., the Constitution means whatever he wants it to mean.
There are a number of serious challenges to the Constitutionality of the health care bill. We start with the fact that the federal government has only enumerated powers, and does not have the authority to act beyond those powers. Try to find health care among the enumerated powers of the federal government. It isn't there.
Also, the bill provides an excise tax on anyone who doesn't obtain health insurance. Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution states: "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." This means that any direct tax on individuals must be allocated among the states in proportion to their population. The tax on persons not having health insurance is not so allocated and therefore violates this requirement. (In fact, the income tax was originally held unconstitutional under this provision, and remained unconstitutional until the Sixteenth Amendment expressly authorized an income tax. )
Whether these challenges will succeed is another matter. Congress doesn't care about constitutionality, neither does the President. The courts do care, but are quite gutless, and have been quite reluctant to overturn any major Congressional action.
To Joe Finkle: You are confused. The Pollack case is still good law. The Sixteenth Amendment did not "overturn" the Pollack case or its reasoning -- it ACCEPTED the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Capitation Clause. That is why a Constitutional Amendment was necessary to adopt an income tax. But only an income tax. The Sixteenth Amendment did not authorize a "you don't have health insurance" tax. Indeed, subsequent Supreme Court cases made clear that the reasoning of Pollack was still valid -- the Sixteenth Amendment simply changed the result as to income taxes only. The argument that the tax in the health care bill violates the Capitation Clause is far from "ridiculous" -- it is fully supported by binding Supreme Court precedent.
Also, I wouldn't be relying too much on the interstate commerce clause after the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).
- Noah HLv 71 decade ago
13 more republican reactionaries pimping for the health insurance mafia. What else is new?
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1 and 18 give Congress the power to encact the health INSURANCE reform bill.
And the term is AttorneyS General.
Not "attorney generals".
- 1 decade ago
If 13 are challenging it, that means that 37 aren't. Last I checked, that's almost a 3-1 margin. So your basis for it being unconstitutional is that about 25% of the states' attorneys general (And all 13 being republican, by the way) are challenging it.
I don't think the Supreme Court would consider that argument persuasive.
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
for joe, taxes are accounted for in the constitution, being forced to buy a product or service is not, never in american history has this been done. it is unconstitutional.owe-bama is a liar.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The title is "attorneys general." That's what courts are for.
- Joe FinkleLv 71 decade ago
There are two constitutional challenges and they are both ridiculous, and as a constitutional lawyer, Obama is well aware of that, as is the Supreme Court (even some of the conservatives).
The first challenge is that the mandate violates the constitution. I'm not really sure on what grounds that challenge is being raised. Congress mandates specific taxes all the time, such as SSDI tax and has tax breaks for people who buy certain things, like a college education. That's all this mandate amounts to. It's a tax for national health insurance. If you buy health insurance, you are exempt.
The second challenge is against the deals made to secure votes. If the deals were for campaign contributions or vacation homes or cash or anything of that sort, you'd have a serious challenge. It wouldn't be a challenge to the bill, votes that are purchased still count, but the person casting the vote could be prosecuted. Really, it's not a constitutional challenge at all. It's been posed as one, but it's not. In fact, it's not even illegal, against Congressional rules, or even the least bit wrong. You've got 100 Senators and 435 Representatives. Deals are a necessary and expected part of the legislative process. The deals, however, must be made on behalf of the Representatives constituents, and they have been. Getting millions of dollars for your State in return for your vote is the kind of deal that legislators are expected to make, it's not like they are getting the cash personally. Any personal benefit they get in campaign contributions and political points at home are a result of their constituents approving of their actions. That's the way large legislative bodies are supposed to work, it's one of the many things that separates them from executive and judicial bodies. They represent their constituents and they make deals on behalf of their constituents constantly.
EDIT: 60 min man: If Congress has the power to issue a tax and they have the power to offer a tax break to those who buy certain products, then that's the SAME THING as having the power to charge a tax on those who do not buy certain things. You say po-tay-toh, I say po-tah-toh (that doesn't work as well typed out, does it?), same difference. If congress has the power to do the former, which they indisputably do, then they have the power to do the latter as well.
EDIT: Sage: Congress does not have the enumerated power to regulate health care, but they do have the enumerated power to regulate interstate commerce, and with that, they have the power, according to the Supreme Court, to regulate industries that have a substantial impact on interstate commerce. That very much includes health care. It's among the most flexible clauses in the Constitution and used all the time, including in this bill.
As for your interpretation of tax law in the constitution, you forgot that the 16th amendment specifically overturned the Pollack case, which had a restrictive interpretation similar to yours. I understand you don't like to think of the Constitution as a "living document", but at least accept the fact that a few amendments have been adopted over the years.