July 1st, 2012
(Click here to go to our Commentary, "The ObamaCARE Traitors".
The ObamaCARE Ruling
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
by James A. Bridge
It's Independence Day in reverse.
The short version is that Chief Justice John Roberts 1) set out to “save” the Affordable Health Care Act; 2) he could do it if he turned the “penalty” into a tax, so he did; 3) affirmed the right of the National Government to assess a tax on people who don't possess something that the National Government says one should have; 4) denied the National Government the power to withhold Medicaid funding to the states.
And with that, we have been whisked into whirlwind of controversy and preparation for conflict.
We've been shorn of our right to privacy by the highest court in the land. The State has the right to demand of us whether we have something its says we should have, and, if we don't prove it, or don't have it, we'll have to buy it, or pay higher taxes than others will.
The turn of the worm is the statement on page 58: “In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”
Hold onto your seats, folks. The Supreme Court of the United States then here ruled that the National Government has the untrammeled right to know what you do not possess. Roberts with his Liberal Statist majority have told us that we no longer have the right to privacy; we can be taxed against that which we do not own.
One doesn't need health insurance to live. One doesn't an automobile to live. One doesn't need condoms, nor does one need baseball cards, to live.
Not having health insurance doesn't threaten anyone's life; not having an automobile doesn't threaten anyone's life. Not having condoms certainly doesn't threaten life, and likewise baseball cards.
So where is the reasonableness of forcing people to divulge whether they possess something? There is no emergency, and this demand of private information is not reasonable grounds for violating our Fourth Amendment rights to being secure and privately at home.
Chief Justice John Robert's majority ruling is not simply deplorable; it is bombastic, illogical and completely at odds with both the written word of the Constitution and with the mounting popular animus toward expansive government. His too-frequent mention of McCullough v. Maryland was perhaps a psychological beacon of inner conflict. But in mentioning this signature case, he undermines what the taxing power is, and how terrible it can be. In so doing, too, he gives the nod to the Federal Government to in essence enter our private homes and demand proof of insurance; to command an economic sector; and to pronounce life and death upon the “insured,” without ever mentioning it.
Backdrop – Fiat of Democrat Super Majority
As a backdrop we must not forget how the Affordable Health Care Act came to be. This legislation was shoved down the throat of the American Public by a monolithic majority Democrat party during the 111th Congress; nor did the concept of state-run health care ever have majority support in the United States. The writers, and the deliberations, were all in camera. No member of the Republican Party was a participant.
Poll after poll showed strong negatives about this idea from the American people. The facts are that the ruling has caused the approval ratings of the Supreme Court to plummet markedly; now, twice as many view the Supreme Court as a gaggle of self-interested politicos who have little regard for the Constitution they have sworn to uphold and defend: 40% to 20% (click here for Newsmax article about Rasmussen poll).
Add that to the sub 20% approval rating of Congress, and the sub 50% rating of the Obama Presidency, and you have as crisis of leadership not often seen in American History. This presents a very interesting tableau in the days leading up to July 4th, 2012.
No matter to John Roberts the how the Affordable Health Care Act wrings the private sector health insurance industry; for him, that industry doesn't exist. He considers only the penalty now transformed into a tax, and cites Congress's own data on costs! He writes, that in 2016: “... for most Americans the amount due will be far less than the price of insurance, and, by statute, it can never be more.” (Page 8)
Supreme Court Crystal Ball on 2016 Costs?
Really? The Supreme Court now also commands a view of the future! “...(T)he amound due will be far less than the price of insurance,” Mr. Chief Justice?
Should we make book on that, sir?
Chief Justice Robert's flight of fancy to 2016 – and beyond – boggles the reader, and defies logical explanation. But here is something you can make book on: Insurance Costs will climb. They must! If a workable Doctor's patient load is 100 patients, and we add 30 MILLION new patients to the insurance pool, cost-containment can only come with a proportionately analogous addition of doctors to the health care system. In this case, that would equal 300,000 doctors who are NOT in practice today. If those doctors make $200,000, that would add $600 billion to the costs of health insurance; if those doctors are not there to hire, the scarcity of doctors cannot help but drive health care costs skyward, by at least 10% (which is the number being added by ObamaCARE mandate).
America has seven million doctors; the are only 10 million doctors in the world. Forcing 30 million Americans into the health care system has the potential of creating American demand for doctors that could drain the world of its doctors!
How can it be possible that a Supreme Court Chief Justice is this blind...or stupid? He nowhere raises the question of what happens if the Congress's numbers are wrong—will it be unconstitutional then, if Congress's numbers are wrong, Mr. Chief Justice?....The Supreme Court was silent on that point. Likewise, the Chief Justice and his majority are silent on whether the Federal Government has any business countermanding a private sector industry, and what the circumstances may have been that are analogous to the Affordable Health Care Act.
This is the broken backbone of Robert's ruling. The Affordable Health Care Act conundrum is not whether a tax or a penalty. This issue is about whether the National Government's sovereign power may supercede the individual's privacy righs, or to swallow private industries whole.
Unreasonable Search and Seizure
Though there is so much to fear in the future America the Supreme Court has permitted to come into existence, the great horror at the crux of this ruling is that this Supreme Court has given the sovereign National Government carte blanche to unreasonably seize your personal papers and effects – i.e., your insurance premium – to determine whether you will pay a tax (er, ah) penalty.
Your rights to privacy vanish! The Bill of Rights is burst asunder with this ruling, for it grants the power to have access to your private information in allowing the Government Health Care Act apparatus to give birth to its bureaucracy. Either that, or you pay a price; the Supreme Court has put a price on your enjoyment of your privacy, and has agreed that the Internal Revenue Service has a right to collect your tax for keeping your records private.
As scholar after pundit untie the pretzel knot of the Roberts ruling's logic, the Chief Justice has acknowledged the furor, and quips that he is looking forward to his lecture trip to Malta, a fortified island, in a recent article (click here). Well should he long for that distant redoubt, because this decision is as wicked as Wickard v. Fillburn case, (in which a man not growing wheat was FORCED to do so in the name of the Commerce Clause!) which he cynically quotes, as disgraceful as Dred Scott in returning a human being to slavery, and as fateful, perhaps, as the Kansas – Nebraska Act of 1854 was.
End of Right to Privacy
America has been undone; your right to privacy is gone. The Supreme Court of the United States has given the “sovereign power” the right to nationalize health insurance pooling, and has concomitantly granted that National Government the right to know whether you have insurance, and to assess you a tax if you don't have it or if you don't tell; and then, whether you get treatment for what ails you.
Like that! Presto! Liberty is gone.
If that very fact weren't dire enough: All responsible, wage-earning Americans will be saddled with ever-increasing taxes in a nightmarish scenario of government-regulated health care. Undocumented illegal aliens? – no hay ningun problema, muchachos! todos no pagan nada! (No problem, boys! you don't pay a thing). Roberts doesn't mention the 3.8% tax on home sales, but there it is – will that be enough to keep people from selling their home? (It is for me). The 47% or so whose income falls below a certain level, they don't pay into the system, unless they sell a home.
Roberts wrote that his striking down of the Commerce Clause argument kept Americans from bearing the brunt of the full sovereign power, and that we should be glad that he found a way to make us pay for ObamaCARE via the taxing power. But McCullough v. Maryland is famous for Daniel Webster's and Chief Justice John Marshall's statement that “the power to tax is the power to destroy.”
Taxing is not some willy-nilly exercise. There must exist some pressing need for the sovereign power to tax something. Instead, he serves up claptrap palaver about the effects of the uninsured upon insurance costs – shared responsibility – as if the National Government ever had a right to involve itself in the workings of the health insurance industry, or any other, aside from subsidies. Our high court has proclaimed an end to American privacy and the inviolate home.
Ruling: No Precedence for 4th Amendment Violation
Roberts does not once outline where the National Government gets the authority to force you or me to show proof of purchase of anything. Where does that power exist? Where does there exist a tax on what you or I don't have? Or, failing that, where is that pressing need that might pry open the locks on your homes, and file cabinets, to find out what you have or don't have? What urgent social need could overcome our 4th Amendment protections? There are none.
Yet, Chief Justice Roberts 1) asserts the power to tax individuals and therefore 2) grants the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Apparatus by omission!
That power exists nowhere in the Constitution or anywhere in the history (or litany) of Supreme Court rulings, or we'd have long fallen out representative Democracy into a Police State; yet our Chief Justice has out of thin air given the National Government that power.
Just days earlier, the Supreme Court's ruling in the SB1070 case makes it plain that state law enforcement or private citizens cannot stop a visibly Hispanic person or possible illegal alien for proof of citizenship; yet the National Government may demand you show proof of insurance, or assess you more income tax?
So, an illegal alien retains Fourth Amendment freedoms that he has stolen by being here illegally, but the rest of wage-earner citizens do not?
Let's follow that absurdity with some others. Like, what is to follow? The Affordable Baseball Card Act? Pay a tax if you cannot prove that you have a baseball card? The Affordable Birth Control Act? Prove that you have condoms in your bedroom, or pay a tax? The Affordable Housing Act—never mind, they've gone there already...worked out so well for everybody.
The outpouring outrage of this decision is that John Roberts and his majority have granted unlimited power of the National Government over us all. We're not private citizens now; we are subjects, and subject to an intrusive sovereign power who has the right to learn what we have or do not have. We are subject to taxation if we do not possess what the National Government says we ought.
We Are Now All Subjects, Citizens No More
The Constitution does not grant the Federal Government the power either to command market sectors or the individual behavior of the People. To be secure in their homes and in their person means simply that – these are places that the Federal Government may not tread. Your health insurance policy, your good habits, your bad habits, all are inviolably beyond the pale of unreasonable search – far be it from being taxed for not having something.
The Affordable Health Care Act blew upon the doors of every private home in America, and into every Doctor's consultation or examination room, and Justice Roberts and the Supreme Court, to their everlasting shame, nodded in affirmation that the Federal Government has the right to be there.
Roberts established his mission was to “save the act,” and he went through pains to do it. He intruded the National Government power into our heretofore protected Fourth Amendment right to personal privacy. He had to do it; his mission was to “save the act,” not to parse the damnably obvious injuries to individual liberty.
That done, Roberts boldly writes in his conclusion, with the hauteur of a Pontius Pilate, washing his hands of the Constitution: “...the Court does not express any opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people.”
“Knock-knock. Open your damned door. The sovereign power tells you to show your insurance policy, or pay up. You don't like it, go bitch to one-another at the water cooler tomorrow at work. Now get out of my sight while I rifle your belongings.”
Americans, our lack of vigilance has led to this stunning loss of our Fourth Amendment freedoms. We shall have much work to do in restoring this liberty to its proper, inviolable place in the pantheon of great American ideals.
Semper porro, nunquam cedere!
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