32 votes

Supreme Court May Get Second Chance to Kill Obamacare Insurance Mandate

In the background and hidden away from the general public, the lawsuit Sissel vs. US Dept. of Health and Human Services moves forward and is one step closer the US Supreme Court. President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and the liberal mainstream media don’t want any of you to know about this lawsuit that could remove the very heart of Obamacare – the insurance mandate.

The lawsuit is based upon Article 1, Section 7 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the Origination Clause, which states:
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What diff

The installed puppet so called SUPREME court are still puppets and the NSA has their dirt to threaten them if they try to act judicial.

Anyway its kinda like the captian and the first mate arguing on the bridge over the health care of the crew and passangers as the ship is sinking and the life boats have dropped.

Obama care is a joke the curency has been intentionaly collapsed. No matter what OBAMA CARE just dont matter at this time in history.

We are the new zionist palastine. Soon we will hear storys about the USA being promised to a religious group and the people here must get out. Opps that is accross the waters in the Arab world isnt it. Wonder if it could happen here?

sovereign

Yea. And monkeys

might fly out of my arss backwards.

I have to ask... why

I have to ask... why backwards?

LMAO

I have no idea. :-)

anothersomebody

will continue to fight while anothernobody quits the fight.

PMA! The future is what WE make of it!

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

You may get upvoted

by the feel good crowd but what you say is ridiculous.

First of all I said nothing about fighting or quitting. Makes me wonder if you know what a real fight is.

Second of all "We" do not make the future. That is why you are hoping that 9 people on the Supreme Court will make it for you. That's 9 people out of 317,000,000 people. 9 people that we did not elect. 9 people that we cannot lobby. 9 people who are in office for life. Yea "WE" are really making the future. NOT!

Sorry but it irks me when people throw BS feel good comments into a conversation just to make themselves seem smart. It makes you sound like a pinko liberal.

No Offense.

Good points.

In light of your good points [some, but not all, of which I agree], I will leave you with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32sOB8XpMM4

Hopefully, you, like we, are embarking on solutions in your area, as the Constitution defines. That is where the real fight is :-)

"What if the American people learn the truth" - Ron Paul

But Will They Take It?

Likely as not: NOT!

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Call me a skeptic but I doubt

Call me a skeptic but I doubt this is going to work. Who is going to accept this argument on the Supreme Court?

1. Scalia is already on record as believing that issues regarding origination should not be brought to the Supreme Court. For example see the following quote:

“We should no more gainsay Congress' official assertion of the origin of a bill than we would gainsay its official assertion that the bill was passed by the requisite quorum, see Art. I, § 5, cl. 1; or any more than Congress or the President would gainsay the official assertion of this Court that a judgment was duly considered and approved by our majority vote.

"Mutual regard between the coordinate branches, and the interest of certainty, both demand that official representations regarding such matters of internal process be accepted at face value.”

2. Five of the 9 justices, including Roberts, have already stated in NFIB v. Sibelius that the Affordable Care Act is a valid exercise of Congress's taxation powers. I think it is very unlikely that they will suddenly say, "whooops! We forgot about origination, thanks for reminding us. Our opinion is now changed."

3. The ACA technically originated in the House . The Senate then essentially changed the entire bill through the amendment process. On a personal level I agree that this violates the spirit of the origination clause. However, just looking at the letter of the Constitution, I think this passes. Remember the full text of the clause: "All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. " There is no constitutionally proscribed limit to the extent that such amendments can take.

wrong

The Bill that was stripped in the Senate and renamed was not originally a budget, tax bill or anything to do with money at all, when it was renamed the bill turned into a tax bill, strictly forbidden.

You can only strip and rename similar bills.

No, the bill had to do with taxes

The Senate took up HR 3590, which regarded housing tax breaks for service members. Here's a quote from WIkipedia:

The Senate began work on its own proposals while the House was still working on the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Instead, the Senate took up H.R. 3590, a bill regarding housing tax breaks for service members.[107] As the United States Constitution requires all revenue-related bills to originate in the House,[108] the Senate took up this bill since it was first passed by the House as a revenue-related modification to the Internal Revenue Code. The bill was then used as the Senate's vehicle for their healthcare reform proposal, completely revising the content of the bill.[109] The bill as amended would ultimately incorporate elements of proposals that were reported favorably by the Senate Health and Finance committees.

The Supreme Court Ruling Has Given Me a Case of Apoplexy

The 16th amendment was designed to clarify the taxing authority of the federal government by essentially removing the issue of apportionment among the states. It cannot be used by the Obamacare apologists to justify the penalty since its authority to tax is based solely on income, i.e., "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportioned among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." So a broad interpretation of the regulating authority of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 is the linchpin of the court’s ruling to save PPACA (“Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”).

PPACA was ruled to meet the tenets of the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. Chief Justice Roberts in his opinion said, "Congress may also “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." (see page 5, SCOTUS Ruling ACA.PDF at http://www.asahq.org/For-Members/Advocacy/Washington-Alerts/... ). Justice Roberts goes on to say that PPACA is authorized under the Tax and Spend authority (IRS).

However Roberts conveniently left out the last section of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1, "but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." It is wrong to split a statement of law apart from its original context to justify a legal interpretation. Just look what some scholars and journalists have unsuccessfully tried to do with the second amendment.

The key word is the last section of Clause 1 is "uniform". The tax imposed on anyone who does not buy health insurance is anything but consistent ("uniform") in its application. There are numerous exemptions (people on Medicare part A, military veterans who receive VA healthcare, members of congress, etc). The tax is based upon a percentage of household income which can very, person by person. The law specifically creates a disjointed, complex and direct relationship between "household income" and the procurement of health insurance which is an expense, not active or passive income.

It is an attempt by the court to legally justify some sort of perverted marriage between a specific industry (healthcare insurance) regulated by the commerce clause and the tax and spend clause for which the U.S. Constitution does not grant such authority to the federal government.

I'm not saying that I agree

I'm not saying that I agree with what I'm about to say, but I can easily see Roberts justifying himself using a strict reading of the text:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises , to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence[note 1] and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Notice that taxes is not included in that final clause.

You Pose a Good Question

I based my opinion on an explanation of the Uniformity Clause here ( see: http://definitions.uslegal.com/u/uniformity-clause/ ).

and this article dealing with Obamacare here (see: http://www.volokh.com/2012/12/06/the-uniformity-clause-anoth... )

The reason the word "taxes" is included in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 (Tax and Spend Clause) is simply to give the government the authority to raise revenue through taxation. Taxation in this context falls under two main categories: direct and indirect taxes.

A direct tax (also known as a pole or capitation tax) is a tax on a person and his/her property, real or personal regardless of any activity such as engaging in commerce or doing nothing at all.

An indirect tax is a tax on duties, imposts and excises.

The court ruled the shared responsibility payment is not a direct tax (see page 41, SCOTUS Ruling ACA.pdf at http://www.asahq.org/For-Members/Advocacy/Washington-Alerts/... ).

If a tax is not a direct tax its only other possible classification is an indirect tax. Although the court did not say explicitly say the shared responsibility payment is an indirect tax, it has to be by default. Since the shared responsibility payment falls within the category of indirect taxes it must meet the conditions of The Uniformity Clause ("but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States." )

Very interesting

And BTW the Volokh Conspiracy is a great resource -- I read it very often, especially posts by Ilya Somin.

It's an interesting point, but I'm not sure that this argument is going to have much effect at the court either. I don't think uniformity means that the tax must be paid by everyone. Consider the types of things we are talking about, like a tariff on imports. It was universally agreed upon at the time of the founding that the federal government could tax imports. This is an indirect tax, but it is not uniform in the sense that everyone pays it.

The Supreme Court Often Exceeds It's Constitutional Authority

The court over the course of American history from time to time steps into the weeds of political machination in an attempt to "breath life" into a federal statute that on its face appears to be unconstitutional.

I have read a number of federal appellate judgments where the court shows its leans in favor of a statute by inference. Justice Roberts said in PPACA, “…And it is well established that if a statute has two possible meanings, one of which violates the Constitution, courts should adopt the meaning that does not do so.” He also referred to Justice Oliver Wendell Holme’s opinion in Blodgett v. Holden, 275 U. S. 142, 148, where he said, “The rule is settled that as between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, our plain duty is to adopt that which will save the Act." (see page 31, SCOTUS Ruling ACA.pdf at http://www.asahq.org/For-Members/Advocacy/Washington-Alerts/...).

It is evident the Supreme Court is susceptible to political influence and the concept of a "check and balance" on the other branches of the federal government is tenuous at best. President Franklin Roosevelt tried to stack the court in his second term of office but thankfully failed to accomplish his nefarious plan to implement a national socialism state.

What will happen with PPACA going forward? Only God knows.

Great conversation

Bump to all. Gotta love the DP contributors. (the calm, intelligent ones that make valid arguments anyway)

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

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Good article on this particular case and a couple others: http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/09/13/will-th...

Definitely listen to the PLF podcast on the case: http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/6/5/b/65b1066a8c1faf2b/9-18-13_oba...

The PLF site has some good info too. It's a long shot but you take what you can get.

Gutting Obamacare: Sissel v. US DHHS

The Constitution was violated. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Contitution?

What is that and what does it have to do with anything that the three branches of our government does?

It is, but not to those with power warped minds

and partisan (or statist ) purposes for keeping it.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15