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The picture above doesn't really pertain to today's topic, but I thought I'd post it anyway, because it cracks me up.
A third Democrat-appointed judge in a row has declared ObamaCare to be constitutional. The latest ruling comes from a D.C. judge, Gladys Kessler, appointed by President Clinton. Here is some of the "logic" from that judge:
First, this Court agrees with the two other district courts which have ruled that the individuals subject to § 1501’s mandate provision are either present or future participants in the national health care market. See Liberty Univ., 2010 WL 4860299, at *15 (“Nearly everyone will require health care services at some point in their lifetimes, and it is not always possible to predict when one will be afflicted by illness or injury and require care.”); Thomas More Law Ctr., 720 F.Supp.2d at 894 (“The health care market is unlike other markets. No one can guarantee his or her health, or ensure that he or she will never participate in the health care market. . . . The plaintiffs have not opted out of the health care services market because, as living, breathing beings . . . they cannot opt out of this market.”). Thus, the vast majority of individuals, if not all individuals, will require some medical care in their lifetime.
With all due respect to Judge Kessler, this is one of the dumbest arguments I've ever heard. She says "the health care market is unlike other markets" because people "cannot opt out of this market", and for that reason it's fine for the government to mandate people to purchase health insurance. This "logic" could have come straight from President Obama's lips. I wonder if he wrote this ruling for her.
Where to start. First, of all, the health care market is NOT different than other markets. There are plenty of markets that nearly all "lving, breathing beings" will use during their lifetimes. To name a few: food, water, clothing, housing, tools, transportation... Almost none of us "opt out" of those markets (and those markets comprise the majority of ALL markets), yet the government doesn't mandate that we buy food, water, clothing, housing, tools, or transportation, does it ? No. The government doesn't fine us if we refuse to buy broccoli, bottled water, t-shirts, kitchen knives, or automobiles. People would revolt at the mere thought of it, but now we have Democrat-appointed judges attempting to rationalize the unthinkable in a free country. This is a direct frontal assault on freedom, and Democrats are more than happy to wage the battle.
Judge Roy Bean, er, I mean, Judge Kessler, had yet more irrationality in her ruling, and this bit is a doozy. Kessler endorsed government regulation of "mental activity":
As previous Commerce Clause cases have all involved physical activity, as opposed to mental activity, i.e. decision-making, there is little judicial guidance on whether the latter falls within Congress’s power...However, this Court finds the distinction, which Plaintiffs rely on heavily, to be of little significance. It is pure semantics to argue that an individual who makes a choice to forgo health insurance is not “acting,” especially given the serious economic and health-related consequences to every individual of that choice. Making a choice is an affirmative action, whether one decides to do something or not do something. They are two sides of the same coin. To pretend otherwise is to ignore reality.
In other words, why should people get to make their own decisions when Big Brother can make those decisions for them ? After all, Big Brother Knows Best. Who wants a population full of citizens engaging in "mental activity" anyway ? That's so messy, with thoughts running around all over the place. We must put a stop to it. Don't worry your pretty little heads, citizens. Obama's Thought Police have got your back. And your money too, but don't worry about that either. Just go outside and play, children. Daddy Obama will call you when it's time for supper.
At least Judge Kessler recognized the fact that there is "little judicial guidance" on the matter of the ObamaCare mandate. That's because no previous government ever dreamed of doing anything so blatantly unconstitutional as this (well, FDR did, but the Supreme Court stopped him. That's when FDR tried to pack the Supreme Court with judges friendly to his causes. No wonder FDR is a hero to the left. He didn't give a crap about the U.S. Constitution either).
The lack of judicial precedent for ObamaCare should have served as a caution to Judge Kessler, but no. I get the feeling these Democrat Judges start with supporting ObamaCare, and then work backwards to try to justify it by any means necessary, no matter how illogical and contrary to the Constitution and founding ideals of this country (i.e., life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness).
If there's a bright spot in the darkness of this ruling, it comes here:
Kessler joined the other four judges in dismissing the Obama administration's fallback argument that the mandate was justified under Congress's taxing power, ruling "that Congress did not intend the mandatory payment...to act as a revenue-raising tax, but rather as a punitive measure." Given that even those judges sympathetic to the Commerce Clause argument have rejected the taxation argument, I wonder if the administration will eventually abandon it as the case moves up the food chain.
The Obama administration tried to pass off the "it's a tax" argument on the fly, after they realized the Commerce Clause justification might not work. That's because there is no Commerce Clause justification for the ObamaCare mandate, no matter how many Democrat-appointed judges try to manufacture one out of thin air.
Regulate "mental activity" indeed. Regulate This, you little dictators.
At the American Spectator link above, they mentioned Kurt Vonnegut's dystopian short story, Harrison Bergeron. This is important to the topic as well, because ObamaCare has lots of 'Citizen A will pay for the healthcare of Citizen B' in it, to which left-wingers apply the Orwellian label "social justice". See if the following description of Harrison Bergeron rings any bells, if it brings to mind any particular political ideology:
In the story, social equality has been achieved by handicapping the more intelligent, athletic or beautiful members of society. For example, strength is handicapped by the requirement to carry weight, beauty by the requirement to wear a mask and so on. All this equality is due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th amendments to the United States Constitution. This process is central to the society, designed so that no one will feel inferior to anyone else. Handicapping is overseen by the United States Handicapper General, Diana Moon Glampers.
Is anybody advocating this stuff in America ??? Anyone ? Anyone ?
Hint - Think of how liberals look at the tax code or government spending. Oops, I gave it away.