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AMERICAN DUE PROCESS
By: Wayne Brown
It is time to get very clear on the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Healthcare Act as a constitutionally compliant law. The ruling handed down this past week has stated in a matter of words that the High Court in a 5 to 4 decision will allow the law to stand as constitutional though the use of the Commerce Clause as the basis for a mandatory requirement on all Americans to purchase the healthcare did not pass muster. Had the Court stopped at that point and essentially took the position that the Congress would have to find an alternative method by which to fund this legislation, its implementation, and sustainment, then America would have had a ruling which stayed well within the bounds of the established checks and balances originally intended with the design of the three branches of government. That action did not take place and basically sent things into circumstance where it seems the law is allowed to stand without further action.
Let’s break things down so we can understand it better. Look at the Court’s majority position to really begin to understand what happened here. The Court could not sustain the mandate under the Commerce Clause as it pertains to commerce which actually does not yet exist. The Court has established the fact that Congress does not have the power to regulate commerce in the fashion as proposed by this mandate. In order to allow the law to stand constitutionally, the Court then assumed that the intent of Congress must have been to “tax” or in effect establish a tax by requiring a premium be mandatory on the American people and that a penalty be assessed for those who were not in compliance with the requirement. This assumption on the part of the Court as the “intent” of the Congress becomes the justification for the law to stand because Congress does possess the power to enact and levy taxation. This single assumption was a great error on the part of the Justices and put in motion a process which could indeed totally circumvent the checks and balances of the established system.
By the Courts position, there is no barrier to the act moving forward. Now, you might want to remember that the argument was made by Congress, by the President, and by all those who supported the legislation or plead for it before the High Court that the mandate was indeed “not a tax”. President Obama still holds to that claim in the aftermath of the Court’s ruling though it is clearly decisive that the Court sees the mandate as an “intent to tax”. Given that premise, the American taxpayer, as it currently stands has seen legislation enacted with no “intent to tax” which in the eyes of the Court essentially does. The outcome of that circumstance is we are to experience “taxation without representation” which is, I recall, something which the American people were not endure.
Clearly the original vote on this legislation and the outcome was taken and decided with the idea that a mandate was being established but there was no basis to tax. The Court has reversed that position by its “assumption of intentions” within the recognized powers of the Legislative body. Given that premise, if we are to be taxed as defined by the Court, then another vote on this legislation is required so that the legislation is truly vetted and debated from a “taxation” standpoint before being applied upon the American people. Taxation without Representation cannot stand. Even the most ardent supporter voting for this legislation did not do so with the intent of establishing a tax on his/her constituents therefore that elected official has never truly represented his/her constituency in consideration of the tax which will indeed be proposed. Within the framework of our government, and clearly by the ruling of the court, a vote is not only justified but required if this law is to have any legitimate legs.
The Court also failed to leave the teeth in the law which would have financially penalized any state not enacting this legislation by holding back federal funding of Medicaid. Clearly the federal government will have to find alternative methods by which to penalize the deviant States if arm-twisting is the order of the day. On the basis of the Court’s position on this issue, one can go a step further to say the Court does not intend for the Federal Government to attempt without anything of value from the States as a form of penalty for non-compliance. Given that premise, it would appear that the Court has handed the decision as to whether or not the Affordable Healthcare Act will apply down to the State’s discretion. Here again is another reason which demands that this legislation be taken to a new vote for it is apparent that the intent of the legislation cannot be carried out without full participation to hold down the projected costs to each participant. In effect, as we always are, we are back to issues of State’s Rights…a never-ending debate.
Why is that the case? That is the case for one consistent reason down through history. Those who designed and built the founding documents and the infrastructure of our governance never intended the federal government to be a center of absolute power. Therefore, the Constitution is clear on that point in not establishing those powers of the Federal Government over both the individual and the state. The Federal Government’s primary purpose was essentially two-fold…maintain a standing militia and speak as the representative, official, singular voice of the people in matters of state and international issues…no more, no less.
Speaker of the House, Boehner, has implied that the House will take a vote to repeal after returning from vacation break in late July. Boehner failed miserably with this statement to the public in that he did not make it clear that such vote was more than an attempt to repeal. This vote should be about everything which I have discussed above. This vote should be about whether American taxpayers are to be “taxed” to establish and sustain a national healthcare program. That vote has never been taken yet the American public is now subject to a law which implements that action as sustained by the Supreme Court ruling. If Boehner and others in the House take only a token and symbolic motion to repeal rather than take the high ground on the basis of this argument, then all of them need to be on the train headed out of town for good along with anyone who voted originally for this sham legislation.
A significant portion of the American public on both sides of the aisle are fed up with being lied to and deceived about how things are done and what can and cannot be done in Washington. The current president leads that pack by dishing out misinformation on a constant basis, by making claims about what he will and will not do or tolerate, by pointing fingers at the actions of others in criticism and condemnation only to take up the same mantra himself when that direction becomes necessary to him. We still have a country which is built on the principles by which it was founded and no American should be willing to tolerate this behavior in our federal government without feeling misrepresented, misled, intentionally confused, and deliberately lied to in the process.
How this process plays out will also be a function of the deceitful and misleading actions of those we have entrusted with our representation. If it is not handled in a fair and equitable fashion which allows the taxpayer due consideration of proper representation prior to the institution of known taxation, then it will have failed miserably and God help those who seek elected office or re-election to office in November of 2012 for the wrath of the American voter will surely be upon you.
©Copyright WBrown2012. All Rights Reserved.
30 June 2012