8 hours ago
Friday, June 29, 2012
I'm not sure yet how I feel about yesterdays Supreme Court decision on Obamacare.
One side of me is adamantly, virulently opposed to the very existence of a law that controls a very personal choice. That side says the court made a horrendous mistake yesterday. And just the fact that Roberts joined the Dark Side of Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg and Breyer is kind of disturbing.
But, some of the legal commentators I have been reading say that Roberts' opinion has gutted the power of the Commerce Clause. If that is true, then maybe the whole fargin' Obama Presidency has been worth it.
The Commerce Clause is probably the most bastardized clause in the entire Constitution. Second would be the 14th Amendment, which somehow manages to have 'emanations from a penumbra'. But, I digress.
In order to get the Constitution adopted by the several states back in 1787 several of its framers wrote a series of pieces, called, collectively, The Federalist Papers, to be published in the newspapers of the day to explain the reasoning behind the various parts of the new Constitution to aid in its adoption.
One thing not made clear to a lot of folks today is the power the states had at the time. The power of the Crown did not devolve to the Continental Congress; it devolved to the various states. Each state became its own Nation, and adopting the new Constitution would cede some of that power to the new Federal Government.
The European Common Market and the Euro are a modern example, with the exception that countries did not lose their autonomy and the ability to remove themselves from the Common Market. It is solely an economic confederation. The Constitution created an economic and a political country, out of once were independent states. Four score an seven years later it was conclusively proven that the states did not have the power to secede. But again, I digress.
I have a copy of The Federalist Papers. 648 pages in paperback, including the index, notes, a copy of the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation and the Forward. This is the men who WROTE the Commerce Clause explaining what it meant. How many of the 600 pages deal with the Commerce Clause? 8.
Yep. EIGHT. The single most powerful (in modern interpretation) clause in the entire Constitution earns about 1% of the comments.
It goes back to the realities of the post- Revolutionary States. Each was a sovereign country, and each had the powers of a sovereign nation, including the authority to set tariffs and have its own Customs House. Virginia would have its own tariff on goods from Europe, as well as import restrictions on, say, corn from Maryland or North Carolina,
Obviously, if we became a single country there could not be import and export duties between the several states, and the new Federal Government would set the rules for trading with foreign partners.
Like the majority of the (original) Constitution, simple and logical. And it took 140 years for this simple, logical language to become twisted.
And yeah, a Democrat was responsible. In my opinion the second worst President in the history of the Union; Franklin Delano Roosevelt; FDR. (First is of course Obama. Third and Fourth are LBJ and JEC- James Earl Carter). During FDR's 12 years in office he managed to persuade the Supreme Court that a farmer growing grain on his own land to feed his own cattle- in which neither the cattle nor the grain crossed any state lines- had an effect on interstate commerce, and was therefore subject to Federal Regulation.
So much for the plain and simple language of the Constitution.
Well, apparently I have once again taken the long way around the barn.
So, to bring this home; if the commentators I have read are correct, and this is another Pyrrhic victory for Obama, then maybe I can live with this decision.
One blog I read this morning (which I of course found through Instapundit) Five Possible Silver linings in the Obamacare Decision also lists as a Silver Lining the idea that by keeping Obamacare alive will energize the Republican base this election season, and create the perfect climate for its total repeal in Congress.
I guess I am too multi-faceted, because there is one side of me that's wants Congress to do a total repeal. I am totally against the Courts legislating from the bench, so maybe Congress is where the death of Obamacare needs to happen.
Now all we need are the votes to make it happen come next January.