The 4 Best Legal Arguments Against ObamaCare

Why the president's sweeping health care overhaul should be struck down by the Supreme Court.

When a reporter asked then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) back in October 2009 “where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”, Pelosi's response was to dismiss both the reporter and the question. “Are you serious?” she sneered. Nadeam Elshami, Pelosi’s communications director, later amplified his boss’s response, telling CNS News, “You can put this on the record. That is not a serious question.”

The U.S. Supreme Court thinks that it is. On Monday March 26, the Supreme Court will begin hearing three days of oral arguments devoted to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including its controversial "requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage." This requirement, also known as the individual mandate, forces all Americans to buy or secure health insurance under what Congress claims is its power "to regulate commerce...among the several states."

Twenty-six of those states, plus the National Federation of Independent Business and several individuals, are challenging the health care law, claiming it is an illegal power grab by the federal government that tramples the Constitution and undermines the principles of federalism.

Contrary to what Nancy Pelosi would have you believe, these challengers have a strong and serious case. Here are four of their best arguments against the individual mandate.

4. The Individual Mandate Threatens the Foundations of Contract Law

American contract law rests on the principle of mutual assent. If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, no court of law will honor that document since I coerced you into signing it. Mutual assent must be present in order for a contract to be valid and binding.

This view was widely shared by the framers and ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution. Here’s how Pennsylvania lawyer James Wilson, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, put it in one of his legal lectures:

The common law is a law of liberty. The defendant may plead, that he was compelled to execute the instrument. He cannot, indeed, deny the execution of it; but he can state, in his plea, the circumstances of compulsion attending his execution; and these circumstances, if sufficient in law, and established in fact, will procure a decision in his favour, that, in such circumstances, he did not bind himself.

The individual mandate turns this longstanding legal principle on its head. After all, there’s nothing mutual about the government forcing you to enter into a binding contract with a private company. As the Institute for Justice, the public interest law firm that pioneered this argument, explains in the powerful friend of the court brief it filed in the case, the framers of the Constitution “would never have given, and in fact did not give, Congress, through the guise of the Commerce Clause, the power to gut the foundation upon which the entirety of contract law rests.”

3. The Individual Mandate Cannot Be Justified Under Existing Supreme Court Precedent

Defenders of the individual mandate will tell you that of course Congress has the power to compel every American to buy health insurance from a private company. “Under an unbroken line of precedents stretching back 70 years,” argues liberal University of California law professor Erwin Chemerinsky, “Congress has the power to regulate activities that, taken cumulatively, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.”

It’s true that the Supreme Court has greatly expanded Congress’ regulatory powers. In the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn, the Court held that the Commerce Clause allowed Congress to forbid an Ohio farmer named Roscoe Filburn from growing twice the amount of wheat permitted by the Agricultural Adjustment Act and then consuming that extra wheat on his own farm. In 2005, the Court reinforced this decision, holding in Gonzales v. Raich that medical marijuana cultivated and consumed entirely within the state of California still counted as commerce “among the several States” and was therefore open to federal regulation.

Yet neither of those precedents stretched the Commerce Clause so far as to allow Congress to regulate inactivity—such as the non-act of not buying health insurance. As the National Federation of Independent Business argues in its brief, “uninsured status neither interferes with commerce or its regulation nor constitutes economic activity. Instead, the uninsured’s defining characteristic is their non-participation in commerce.”

The Supreme Court has never before granted Congress the unprecedented power to regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If the Court sticks to its own precedents, it won’t do so now.

(Click below to watch Reason.tv's "Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause Became All Powerful.")

2. The Individual Mandate Rests on an Unbounded and Unprincipled Assertion of Federal Power

Does the Commerce Clause allow Congress to do anything it wants so long as an economic activity is remotely involved? Under the government’s theory of the case, yes, congressional power is essentially unlimited. As the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals remarked in its ruling on the individual mandate:

The Government concedes the novelty of the mandate and the lack of any doctrinal limiting principles; indeed, at oral argument, the Government could not identify any mandate to purchase a product or service in interstate commerce that would be unconstitutional, at least under the Commerce Clause.

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli will need to come up with something better than that when he argues the case before the Supreme Court. As the multi-state challengers put it in their Supreme Court brief, "there is no way to uphold the individual mandate without doing irreparable damage to our basic constitutional system of governance." At a minimum, the Court's conservatives will expect the solicitor general to lay out a plausible limiting principle for congressional power under the Commerce Clause. If Verrilli does not—or cannot—do that, the individual mandate is in big trouble.

1: The Individual Mandate Violates the Original Meaning of the Constitution

Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power “to regulate commerce...among the several states.” The framers and ratifiers of the Constitution understood those words to mean that while congress may regulate commercial activity that crossed state lines, Congress was not allowed to regulate the economic activity that occurred inside each state. As Alexander Hamilton—normally a champion of broad federal power—explained in Federalist 17, the Commerce Clause did not extend congressional authority to “the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature, all those things, in short, which are proper to be provided for by local legislation.” In other words, the Commerce Clause was not a blank check made out to the federal government.

Yet in its decisions in both Wickard v. Filburn and Gonzales v. Raich, the Supreme Court held otherwise, allowing Congress to regulate the wholly intrastate cultivation of wheat and marijuana, respectively. Those decisions cannot be squared with the original meaning of the Commerce Clause. As Justice Clarence Thomas remarked about the majority’s reasoning in Raich, “If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything—and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.”

Unfortunately for constitutional originalists, Thomas is unlikely to persuade a majority of his colleagues to wipe the slate clean by overturning Wickard and Raich. But as I explained earlier, the Supreme Court already has sufficient reason to strike down the individual mandate without touching any of its existing precedents. That approach—which targets the mandate's unprecedented regulation of inactivity—could satisfy both Thomas and his faint-hearted originalist colleagues on the bench. If five or more justices are interested in expressing at least some fidelity to the text of the Constitution, the individual mandate is finished.

Damon W. Root is a senior editor at Reason magazine.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The framers and ratifiers of the Constitution understood those words to mean that while congress may regulate commercial activity that crossed state lines, Congress was not allowed to regulate the economic activity that occurred inside each state.

    Obviously, that argument has been out the window for some time. I have zero confidence that the Supreme Court has the will to overturn any part of Obamacare, even though there's really only one justice opponents of the legislation must convince.

  • Mike M.||

    And the usual lefty lawyer suspects in the media like Dahlia Lithwick are already working furiously at pressuring Kennedy to vote their way.

    I'm not highly optimistic about the outcome, but maybe I'll be presently surprised.

  • West Texas||

    At this point, a surprise is all I'm hoping for.

    I think it's much more likely that SCOTUS punts and calls it a "political question" and tells the GOP to win a few more elections so they can make it go away themselves.

  • Gilligan Syle||

    This is like the worst support group ever.

  • ||

    I think you guys are nuts. I may be completely misreading this, but a vote in favor of the individual mandate is essentially proclaiming the government can mandate ANYTHING it pleases. In which case, the Constitution is meaningless.

    Kennedy won't do it.

  • I Blame Videogames!||

    I think you guys are nuts. I may be completely misreading this, but a vote in favor of the individual mandate is essentially proclaiming the government can mandate ANYTHING it pleases. In which case, the Constitution is meaningless. Kennedy won't do it.

    I hope you're right. Frankly I don't know the personalities on the court well enough to know if you're right or not.

    I have to wonder why nobody mentions Roe v. Wade in reference to this case. The case ended up being hinged on the idea that some decisions (and specifically a medical decision) are too personal and private for the government to be in complete control of. It seems to me Individual Mandate and Roe are diametrically opposed.

  • WhiteSquare||

    Exactly right. Leftists like it because it expands the power of the government in a way they approve. But if the government could gain the power to force Americans to purchase anything, who is to say the government can't force the American people to purchase a firearm? Or an iPad? Or a membership to the local gym? All of these things would most assuredly improve the well-being, safety and health of their owners and would contribute to the betterment of "the Greater Good."

  • ||

    Or, God forbid, force us to buy a Chevy Volt.

  • Jerryskids||

    LOL - we all already bought Chevy Volts. All of them. And every other product GM makes.

  • Revolution||

    If the Constitution is rendered meaningless (a strong possibility if they uphold the mandate), then there is no legal authority for the recognizing the existence of the US government.

  • Suki||

    Mega dittos!

  • Suki||

    According to the banner add, the Koch brothers are funding the fight against the EPA! However, whomever placed the ad thinks the EPA needs help fighting back? I hope Koch gets CATO so they can fight nuts like this more effectively.

  • ||

    1: The Individual Mandate Violates the Original Meaning of the Constitution

    2. The Individual Mandate Rests on an Unbounded and Unprincipled Assertion of Federal Power

    3. The Individual Mandate Cannot Be Justified Under Existing Supreme Court Precedent

    4. The Individual Mandate Threatens the Foundations of Contract Law

    local arts
    local music

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Twenty-six states opposed.

    In other words, if 52 senators were actually doing their jobs, this bill wouldn't have been passed in the first place.

  • West Texas||

    If Senators were bound to their state governments as was originally intended, this would certainly be the case.

    MOAR DUHMOCRACY!!!

  • Athenian Democrats||

    To arms! We are now war with Sparta!

  • Athenian Democrats||

    To arms! We are now ^at^ war with Sparta!

  • anon||

    Meh, original may have been better.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • Hadouken||

    In other words, if 52 senators were actually doing their jobs, this bill wouldn't have been passed in the first place.

    That rationale died with the 17th Amendment.

  • ||

    And let's not forget - this bill originated in the Senate, while the Constitution says all spending bills must originate in the House!

  • West Texas||

    Actually, very good point.

    They'll argue that it wasn't a "spending bill" when they put it together, but then once they lost the 60th vote it suddenly became a "budget bill".

  • Suki||

    Like that ever matters to the SCOTUS. They always cop out and say it is a "political issue" or some rot.

  • ||

    IIRC they cut and pasted Obamacare into a bill that had originated in the House.

  • ||

    Just learned today that the farm at the center of Wickard v. Filburn was just about exactly two miles from my house. Kinda makes me want to honor Roscoe by Fighting the Power®, as it were. So what would be the best way to do that? Cancel my own health insurance if the individual mandate is upheld and goes into effect? (That would almost certainly get my boss's knickers in a twist, since I administer such employee benefits at the ol' day job! The hubby might have an opinion about that, too, since he actually uses the coverage more than I do, though he shares my political/philosophical views!) Any other suggestions?

  • anon||

    Cancel everyone's health insurance at the company.

  • ||

    Now, I like that in principle! However, even though my boss, too, largely shares my political/philosophical views, somehow I think that action might be reflected in the results of my next employee evaluation! (And not in a way that maximizes my potential pay raise!) But thanks for the idea!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Or you might get a raise and a promotion for saving the company thousands of dollars on overpriced health insurance premiums?

  • anon||

    (And not in a way that maximizes my potential pay raise!)

    How so?

    I don't know how large the company is, but if it's less than 50 you're saving the company thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars, with no drawbacks. It'd have the bonus effect of making the employees that are clueless about the legislation painfully aware.

  • ||

    We are, in fact, fewer than 50, so there's no doubt I'd be saving us big bucks, even though it's a high-deductible plan with HSAs (to which we contribute each pay period.) It's just that I'm not the Official Decision Maker - I'm just the grunt who logs on to fill out the forms to submit enrollments, cancellations, etc. And I think I might well have clueless co-workers who would make my boss painfully aware of how they feel about having their coverage cancelled. So I'm thinking he'd have mixed feelings about the whole thing, at best.

  • anon||

    Meh, it'd be worth it to me to get 25 people all bitching and moaning about the effects of Obamacare. Sides, there are always better opportunities out there.

  • IceTrey||

    They won't be bitching if he takes 2/3 of the money he spends on insurance and gives it to them as salary.

  • ||

    The fact that y'all are even discussing this with any degree of seriousness illustrates just how bad this legislation is. It's unpopularity rises to the level of being explosively dangerous. For the left I think that is a perk.

    The impression I get is the vile bitch pelosi and her ilk love obamacare if for no other reason than they get to force us to do something we dont want to do. I really think that is what it is about for them.

  • anon||

    It's not even about forcing me to do something that I don't want to do; it's about forcing me to do something.

    I had no problem paying for health insurance, yet now I'm disgusted by the thought.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Go grow some wheat and feed it to your pigs?

  • anon||

    INTERSTATE COMMERCE!!! YOU CAN'T DO THAT!

  • Appalachian Australian||

    I would tell her to not grow wheat and not feed it to her pigs, but apparently that's interstate commerce too.

  • anon||

    Fuck. Maybe burning the wheat and salting the soil wouldn't be?

  • Jeramy||

    No then its the EPA.

  • anon||

    So wait, if I'm -not- allowed to grow wheat because of the commerce clause, and yet at the same time I'm forced to grow wheat because of the commerce clause, and I'm not allowed to dispose of wheat because of the EPA.... What the fuck do I do?

  • anon||

    Fuck yes! One step closer to everyone just simply ignoring the law, because it's impossible to follow.

  • ||

    Do as you're told.

  • ||

    anon said:
    So wait, if I'm -not- allowed to grow wheat because of the commerce clause, and yet at the same time I'm forced to grow wheat because of the commerce clause, and I'm not allowed to dispose of wheat because of the EPA.... What the fuck do I do?

    That's rather obvious: you apply for a farm subsidy to get paid to not grow the wheat, and spend half of what you get on your congress critters to maintain your subsidy.

  • thirtyandseven||

    Eat antifreeze.

    Make sure your taxes are up to date first though.

  • Suki||

    If it were strawmen?

  • anon||

    Tony would have nothing to post if we burned all the wheat then!

  • Jeffersonian||

    Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.

    - Jefferson

  • ||

    Just got the one cat. Has Congress yet discovered a compelling in regulating the catnip market? If not, I have every confidence they will do so any minute now.

  • Working 9 to 5||

    Studies show that owning a pet reduces stress and lowers a person's blood pressure. This will reduce long-term medical costs.
    Thus, every American must now, by law, own a pet.

    This legislation was brought to you by the good people at MegaPet Industries, a green company.

  • BigT||

    Actually, owning a pet has no impact at all. This was one of those feel-good studies.

    Research has shown that owning a pet is beneficial to people’s overall physical and emotional health. The purpose of this study was to establish a relationship between pet ownership and health. A 14-item paper-and-pencil survey was given to 26 participants in the St. Joseph, MO area. This survey assessed health and determined whether or not the participant owned a pet. The results showed that there was no significant difference (t(21) = .337, p>.05) between the health of pet-owners and the health of non-owners.
    http://clearinghouse.missouriw.....ts/281.php

  • Mensan||

    Regardless of the results, when n = 26, the survey probably isn't reliable.

  • mgd||

    A 14-item paper-and-pencil survey given to 26 "participants" in a single area of the country? This is supposed to be a joke, right?

  • ||

    I'm not sure the wheat quotas the government used back then are still in effect.

    I wonder if the federal government would ever impose a regulation forbidding a farmer from growing extra wheat for personal consumption today. I know they pay farmers to let fields lie fallow, but do they penalize them if they plant too many acres these days?

    Would we still try to regulate a market by forbidding people from producing too much ? I suspect not.

  • anon||

    but do they penalize them if they plant too many acres these days?

    The payment for not growing is the same thing. The penalty is the loss of the subsidy.

    Also, crops like tobacco are still highly regulated. I think most produce is unregulated though.

  • ||

    A buddy of mine had 50 acres in Pine Prairie and was told in no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to grow any vegetables or fruit for his own consumption. He would lose his subsidy and be subject to fines if he did.

  • Bill||

    The nice thing is they have that precedent so they can if they want .......

  • ||

    "I'm not sure the wheat quotas the government used back then are still in effect."

    I wouldn't bet against it. Nothing ever gets repealed, the swine just add another layer on top.

    We really ought to concentrate on some way of getting more law and regulation repealed. I wonder if some junior congresscritter would be interested in sponsoring a bill to allow any citizen to force the repeal of a law on the grounds that it is illegal to obey it?

  • ||

    I propose a bill that would require Congress to repeal 2 laws for every new law passed.

    We could probably sustain that for 50 years and not even notice.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'd go for repealing ten laws for every new law *proposed*, and fifteen laws repealed for every law *passed*.

    At the very outside, I may add. I'm feeling mighty generous at the moment.

  • ||

    The Individual Mandate Threatens the Foundations of Contract Law

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  • The Government||

    If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, no court of law will honor that document

    Oh, come on! We're asking nice.

  • anon||

    Even if Obamacare wins, I wonder if a good case can't be made for being compelled to sign a contract under duress.

  • Sevo||

    "Even if Obamacare wins, I wonder if a good case can't be made for being compelled to sign a contract under duress."
    Too late. Old farts remember a thing called "The Draft".

  • anon||

    Well, to be fair, there is "to raise a militia" written in the constitution. There's no mention of "You must sign a contract with a private company to provide a service for your money." in there, if I remember right.

  • mgd||

    Huge difference between raising a militia, and building a standing army out of those not volunteering to join same.

  • anon||

    You forgot #5 Mr. Root, and dare I say it's the most obvious one:

    Obama's black, and we're racists.

    nevar forget.

  • Teaching Student||

    That's in the Best Legal Arguments for Obamacare, I think they posted that one at democraticunderground.

  • ||

    Those aren't really the "best" arguments.

    There are some much more sophisticated arguments against the individual mandate. Try volokh.com for starters.

    The court has a number of avenues open to it, not just overturning Wickard and/or Raich, although I would love to see those cases revisited.

    But the court could avoid that by defining the limits of the commerce clause power to people who are "inside" a market. People growing wheat or marijuana are "inside the market" for wheat or marijuana. They've made a voluntary choice to participate in the marijuana and wheat markets and can hence be regulated.

    By comparison, people who have not purchased a product cannot be said to be "inside the market" except by an expansive definition that holds that every economic decision not to purchase a product places you inside the market for that product.

  • anon||

    While I understand your argument and agree with the premise, the government will simply state that all people are "inside the market" merely by living. I know it's specious, but I don't really trust the justices to see this to its logical conclusion.

  • ||

    Of course they will say that. It's the gist of their argument. But even if we are all in the market for health care, that doesn't mean we're in the market for health insurance.

    Insurance is a financial product designed to manage risk. Not having it might mean you have to forgo health care. But purchasing health care doesn't make you a participant in the insurance market.

  • anon||

    . But even if we are all in the market for health care, that doesn't mean we're in the market for health insurance.

    Right. You and I see this, because like I said, the argument is specious. I do not trust 5/9 of the justices presiding to see this though, with all of the inherent appeals to emotion that go along with that argument.

  • Bill||

    Wise old latinas have their own mystical ways of knowing in advance how to vote on stuff like this.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Insurance is a financial product designed to manage risk.

    Obviously.

    That said, to the supporters of Obamacare "health insurance" has nothing to do with managing risk and everything to do with access. Try talking to a supporter of Obamacare about health insurance sometime, you'll soon discover that they routinely conflate "health insurance" with have access to even the most basic of medical services. And federal tax policy has encouraged this to the point that my "insurance" pays 100% for my routine physical.

    This is a very hard debate to win when the audience has accepted a set of definitions that have nothing to do with the dictionary meanings of the words.

  • MNG||

    "But the court could avoid that by defining the limits of the commerce clause power to people who are "inside" a market."

    This is a nice idea, but the text of the clause doesn't say anything about limiting the "power to regulate" to "commerce engaged in by individuals already inside a market."

    It just says "power to regulate...commerce." Why would they read some libertarian political philosophy about the distinction between inactivity and activity into a concept that does not, and did not at the time of the founding, necessarily include that baggage?

    I guess an answer could be "well, this creates a meaningful limit to the clause and keeps it from violating the 'overall spirit of the constitution' as one of a limited federal government." But that's some pretty vague stuff. "Spirit of the laws..."

  • ||

    MiNGe, just curious, but was that really you the other night in the thread dunphy polluted? If so, I wholeheartedly thank you, as I was unable to stick around. If not, then somebody used your handle in a most beautiful way.

  • MNG||

    I didn't see it. People spoof me all the time. It's pretty pussified, but what can you do?

  • ||

    Too bad. Whoever it was gave dunphy a good tongue-lashing for manipulating my post and twisting my words...as usual.

  • MNG||

    Obviously I agree with little dunphy says, but I am glad he posts here. Most people love cops and defer to them and we need that voice in our debates.

  • Little Dunphy||

    Thanks MNG just trying to keep things interesting!

  • ||

    Little Dunphy

    Oh, dear God, no!

  • ||

    Why would they read some libertarian political philosophy about the distinction between inactivity and activity

    Because Libertarians just invented the distinction between "sins of commission" and "sins of ommission".

    We've always prosecuted people for murder for failing to jump in a river and save a drowning man. Every idiot learns there's no difference in kindergarten.

  • Fluffy||

    Commerce is a noun, dude.

    You're either engaging in it or you're not.

    Basically you're saying that you consider the meaning of "commerce" to be either "life" or "existence", and that's really more than a bit foolish. The only reason, and I mean the only reason, to define it that way is if you're engaged in a power grab and "commerce" is the only word you have to work with.

  • SCOTUS||

    It works for us.

  • Jeffersonian||

    It just says "power to regulate...commerce."

    Your ellipses are in the wrong place, for one. Second, the text doesn't stop there, but limits said power to regulate commerce "with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes."

    By your logic, Mange, Congress has the power to regulate commerce within France, Japan and Burundi based on this power. Face it, Wickard was a huge mistake, and is a blot on constitutional jurisprudence.

  • MJ||

    "It just says "power to regulate...commerce.""

    Where those three dots are there is supposed to a word which might have some relevance in this conversation about how limited the authority granted to the Congress by the commerce clause actually is. MNG almost always leaves that word out when trying to convince us of the unlimited scope he thinks the Constitution grants the feds., I wonder why?

  • MNG||

    It's common to leave those out in a discussion of just the interstate part.

    I'm guessing what you're getting at is what Jeff argues. It's pretty lame imo. Of course the "foriegn nations" part means the feds have control over our side of that trade, they can't set French policy, but can set policy for US traders with the French.

    Of course I don't see how this would help us answer whether "the power to regulate" includes prescriptive powers, whether that be with foriegn nations or among the several states.

  • ||

    Come on people, we've just had two decisions overruled by SCOTUS by nine zip, FFS! Can anyone remember that ever happening before?

  • anon||

    But those were gross oversteps by government agencies. This is merely a large overstep, hence the pessimism.

  • ||

    Uhhhh....seems like a pretty gigantic gross overstep to me, more so than the others.

  • MNG||

    These strike me as quite bad arguments. The contract one would apply to mandates that force people involved in existing activity to enter into contracts too, and that's not even at issue in this case. The "never been done before" one is pretty weak tea: all the powers granted in the Constitution were used for the first time at some time.

    I agree with the argument that the clause was supposed to be limited to commerce among the states and should not apply to commerce within states; Wickard was wrongly ruled. But I don't think any brief in any of hte appellate cases has tried to argue that interstate commerce is not involved here. The selling of each individual hamburger McDonald's sells takes place within a single state, but no one wants to argue McDonald's is not invovled in interstate commerce.

  • ||

    The contract one would apply to mandates that force people involved in existing activity to enter into contracts too,

    But the problem with it is that it also forves people not involved in an existing activity to enter into a contract. That activity being the health insurance market, not the health care market. Hopefully the supremes will recognize there's a difference in the two and strike the law down.

  • MNG||

    It's the same problem otherwise. I only have to buy car insurance if I choose to drive, but I am only assenting to that car insurance contract because I am being compelled by force of penalty.

  • ||

    Not necessarily true. You can self-insure your vehicle, and many people do especially in cloistered societies that allow autos. So that argument is invalid as well.

  • BigT||

    More importantly, you only are forced to buy auto insurance for liability, not collision. In a health context that would be insurance against infecting someone else, but not against your own diseases/injuries.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But auto-insurance mandates are on the state level, not the federal.

  • ||

    But there are no auto insurance mandates anyway. Many people self-insure even their liability for personal reasons. I know several people in a relatively closed Menonite town that do and face no penalty.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But if you can't self-insure, you're in for a world of shit if you don't have something else to rely upon.

  • ||

    Anybody can self-insure if they offer a compelling reason. And that's as simple as saying your religion does not permit the purchase of insurance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I live in Missouri, and if a cop wants to be an asshole, he can demand proof of insurance - and if you don't have it, you get to pay a fine.

    Sounds like mandatory to me, self-insured or not.

    Not sure if the Amish are exempt, though it would be kinda funny to hear one talk to an insurance agent for a buggy policy...

  • ||

    If you self-insure, the DMV will issue you a certificate claiming such, and that cop can pound sand.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I know that - but either way, if he asks for a piece of paper, you have to show it to him.

  • ||

    I live in Missouri, and if a cop wants to be an asshole, he can demand proof of insurance - and if you don't have it, you get to pay a fine.

    Sounds like mandatory to me, self-insured or not.

    FIFY, that's BULLSHIT. You can "choose" not to drive and thus not to pay for insurance. This mandate allows no opt out. Apples and oranges.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not arguing that the mandate "allows no opt out"; I know that, and so do the fools who salivate over such a possibility.

    Why you gotta hate, bro?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Seriously, though... think about it:

    If you don't have some proof of either insurance, or self-insurance, you're gonna have to pay a fine unless you convince a judge that, yes, indeed, you have proof.

    You think it's not gonna be that way if BarryCare gets its claws into our veins? Or that you can "self-insure" under BarryCare?

    Shit, it's not like I'm defending the mandate here... shit.

  • ||

    No hate bro. I love you man (in a purely heterosexual, platonic kinda way)! And I was on my third drink...

    I thought you were arguing the mandate is the same thing as requiring car insurance and thus Constitutional. I hear that from the left all the time, and that they cannot see the difference really pisses me off.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, I gotcha. But I've never been in favor of the mandate, so thus the confusion.

  • juris imprudent||

    Wrong. California for example does not require insurance for driving. You can have a DL and rent cars without ever obtaining your own auto insurance. If you own and register a vehicle for on road use in the state you also have the option of depositing $35K with the DMV or obtaining a bond for that amount rather than a standard insurance policy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Surprising, in the case of California... but then, every state has its own set of rules - which is as it should be.

    Tony would disagree, though.

  • MNG||

    Holy shit, JI, do you struggle with analogies that much? I mean, this is the wost example of someone here getting confused in the particulars and not seeing the analogized principle.

    I'm not saying "mandating health insurance is like when states mandate car insurance."

    I'm saying that IF your beef with the former is it violates the principles of contract law by making you assent to a contract under penalty, then that is also true for the contract you have to sign to drive on public roads in many states. yes, you can escape that contract easier by not driving on public roads, but if you do you have to sign this contract not because you assent, but because of penalty! The lack of assent is present in both cases.

  • juris imprudent||

    An analogy fails precisely when it does not conform as a parallel. Duh.

    The point being I can drive without auto insurance, let alone do I need to have it if all I do is ride my bike or public transit. In short, it ain't a fucking mandate and you don't have a fucking clue.

  • MNG||

    But in both cases you do not "assent" to the contract you are compelle to sign, not in the sense that assent is used in contract law. That's the point soaring over your head.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It's a STATE mandate, JI.

    Shit, why all the hate over this, folks?

  • MNG||

    It's a state mandate, and its one that is easier to avoid, but in both the state liability insurance if you drive mandate and the federal health insurance mandate, the person is compelled to assent to a contract in a way violative of "traditional contract law concepts." The former is just easier to avoid if you want to.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    State mandates are bullshit, too.

  • mgd||

    Bullshit they are, but not necessarily unconstitutional. The states have police powers that the federal government does not.

  • ||

    It's a crazy and silly argument. Say someone threatens to kill you and so you hire me to protect you. Can you get out of paying me on the grounds that you only hired me to protect you because you were threatened and therefore you didn't really freely consent to paying me to protect you?

  • mgd||

    It's a crazy and silly argument. No, it's not. It's been a recognized principle of contract in English common law for hundreds of years.

    The existence of threat doesn't negate all contracts. The threat I am under when contracting with you for protection is not directed at the contract between us; it exists independently of our contract--unless you are the source of the threat.

  • ||

    Wait a minute. If the market for health insurance is interstate, then how is the marijuana in Raich and the wheat in Wickard not interstate?

    Health insurance can't be sold across state lines, so the only way you can get to interstateness is by stating that the total market for healthcare is large and that health insurers exist in multiple states.

    But the same logic also applies to wheat and marijuana even if grown for local use.

    I mean if you are going to stretch the definition of interstate commerce for the health insurance market, using the "aggregate effects" doctrine, why NOT wheat or marijuana grown for personal consumption ?

  • ||

    But Hazel, pot is illegal, which means they can make the rules up as they go along.
    And as far as wheat goes, the science is settled, so deal with it, heretic!

    /government toady

  • juris imprudent||

    Scalia: because Fuck You!

  • MNG||

    The problem is the clause gives a broad grant of "the power to regulate commerce...among the several states." It doesn't mention activity or inactivity at all, only by reading into the concept "regulate" or "commerce" the idea of "already existing commerce" do you get where libertarians want to go with this inactivity/activity distinction.

    The clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce. Buying health insurance iscommerce. The way Congress is exercising it's "power to regulate commerce" is by passing a regulation mandating everyone engage in commerce in this area.

    It's that simple.

  • ||

    Not buying health insurance is not commerce.

  • MNG||

    But buying it is. And that's what hte mandate does, it makes you buy it.

    They use their power to regulate commerce by making you engage in commerce. That's one way to regulate commerce, to make you engage in it.

    You want us to read "already existing" into either the concept "power to regulate" or "commerce," but it ain't there to begin with.

  • anon||

    Wow MNG, that's some serious circular logic you have going there.

  • MNG||

    How is it circular? Mind stating an argument?

  • MNG||

    Actually, what's circular is the attempt to simply define "regulate" as "the power to make rules about existing conduct only" or commerce as "existing commerce only." Those concepts don't normally have those things read into them, but yes, if you assume that at the beginning of the argument then your side wins.

    But assuming what is at issue is actually what "circular logic" or "begging the question" is all about.

  • anon||

    They use their power to regulate commerce by making you engage in commerce. That's one way to regulate commerce, to make you engage in it.

    Presupposing commerce exists and therefore the authority to regulate such commerce, and justifying the authority to regulate commerce with ... the power to regulate commerce.

    This is pretty much the *definition* of circular logic.

  • MNG||

    "Presupposing commerce exists and therefore the authority to regulate such commerce, and justifying the authority to regulate commerce with ... the power to regulate commerce."

    You're presupposing the power to regulate commerce only applies to the power to make rules about existing commerce. That's you, not me.

    I'm saying, if Congress has the power to regulate commerce, why can't that include the power to make people engage in it? There's no presupposition there, just a refusal to rule out that as part of the concept.

  • MNG||

    And I don't presuppose it exists. Everyone agrees interstate commerce in health insurance exists right now. What the mandate does is mandate everyone who is not participating in it start to.

    How does congress exercise its power to regulate commerce? By making some people engage in it. That is of course one way to regulate commerce.

  • anon||

    And I don't presuppose it exists. Everyone agrees interstate commerce in health insurance exists right now.

    Actually, the way it is right now, it's specifically *NOT* interstate commerce. Every state has their own insurers that they'll let operate. A state-granted monopoly in most cases, if you will.

  • MNG||

    No brief in any of the appellate courts that have ruled on Obamacare have even made that argument. None. Because it is demonstrably wrong.

    When you get Blue Cross insurnance you must purchase your policy from a state lisenced rep, but he is affiliated and shared resources with blue cross which is plainly a national company engage in "commerce among the several states."

    Really, you have to drop that argument, it's terrible. There are a lot of think tanks and profs who agree with you about libertarianism and hate the mandate, but not one of them has made that argument to these courts. Not one.

  • ||

    Everyone agrees interstate commerce in health insurance exists right now.

    I thought you said that commerce didn't have to be "already existing" in order to be regulated.

  • MNG||

    I said that one way you can regulate commerce is by making people engage in it.

    After all, it's commerce they would be forced to engage in.

    You keep reading "already existing" into the concept "to regulate" or "commerce." But it ain't there.

  • anon||

    You're presupposing the power to regulate commerce only applies to the power to make rules about existing commerce. That's you, not me.

    Tell me how you're going to "regulate" an activity that does not exist yet.

    I'm saying, if Congress has the power to regulate commerce, why can't that include the power to make people engage in it?

    Because commerce is an action; not participating is not an action. I do not have to make a choice to not participate in a given market; I do have to make a choice to participate in a market.

    Compelling individuals to participate in a market they have chosen not to participate in is full-fledged tyranny any way you put it.

  • MNG||

    "Tell me how you're going to "regulate" an activity that does not exist yet."

    By making people engage in it. Simple.

    See, you can't help yourself from reading "already existing" into the word "to regulate." But mandates have long been recognized as included in the power "to regulate" in an area, see my example below.

  • anon||

    By making people engage in it. Simple.

    So you accept the fact that you would be OK with the federal government mandating you buy a Chevy Volt, purchase health insurance, eat only government approved foods, and watch all government-sponsored propaganda films?

    Because what you're saying is that now your paycheck does not belong to you, but to whatever the government's whims are at the moment.

  • ||

    I think the Constitution is important because it protects our rights; our rights aren't important because they're in the Constitution.

    In other words, the Constitution is ONLY important to me because it protects our rights--in those areas where it fails to protect our rights, it isn't important at all and needs to be changed.

    There were lots of things that were wrong with the Constitution from the very beginning, and some of those things have been changed for the better (see slavery). But the Constitution is still not a perfect document.

    So, there are two discussions going on here. I think MNG is having the one about what is okay given the what the Constitution says, given the way it's been interpreted in the past.

    You're having the one about whether our right not to be forced to buy things exists. ...and that's another discussion entirely--on which I think we all agree.

  • anon||

    So, there are two discussions going on here. I think MNG is having the one about...

    MNG is trying to justify the government's action by using logical fallacies. I'm arguing against the logical fallacy first and foremost, and second against the general premise that there is no "private property."

  • ||

    MNG is trying to justify the government's action by using logical fallacies. I'm arguing against the logical fallacy first and foremost, and second against the general premise that there is no "private property."

    I think MNG is arguing from the Constitution and case law rather than from what's right or wrong.

    Those are two different things. The case law and the Constitution can be either right or wrong. And if the Constitution and the case law are both wrong on this issue, then the correct interpretation may be wrong.

    We need to see that clearly if we're going to combat it successfully.

    I'm not willing to suffer under ObamaCare and the individual mandate waiting around for however many presidents to pack the Supreme Court with the right votes.

  • anon||

    I'm not willing to suffer under ObamaCare and the individual mandate waiting around for however many presidents to pack the Supreme Court with the right votes.

    Oh trust me, I'm not either. I don't care how the supreme court votes.

  • anon||

    See, you can't help yourself from reading "already existing" into the word "to regulate."

    Yes, I cannot see that. Because "To regulate" something, activity *must* exist. You cannot "regulate" lightbulbs into being. You cannot "regulate" a technological singularity. And no, you cannot "regulate" away uninsured individuals.

    If so, why don't you please just "regulate" us to purchase energy only supplied by nuclear fission? Or "regulate" us up some infinite energy source? Maybe "Regulate" our asses to Mars?

  • MNG||

    "Because "To regulate" something, activity *must* exist."

    Yes, you're assuming the definition of the concept exaclty what wins the argument for you. There's a name for that btw ;)

  • anon||

    Yes, the power to "regulate" commerce, means that commerce must exist for it to be regulated.

    Commerce is the exchange of a good. Without the exchange, how can it be regulated? Mandating the exchange while using the "regulation" as justification is a circle, and you're a moron if you believe that it's sound reasoning.

  • ||

    Even MNG admits that there has to be an "already existing" market in health insurance in order to force people to join it.

  • MNG||

    "Commerce is the exchange of a good. Without the exchange, how can it be regulated?"

    How are we "without an exchange?" The exchange is exactly what is mandated!

  • anon||

    How are we "without an exchange?" The exchange is exactly what is mandated!

    Jesus christ, are you seriously this much of a dimwit or are you just fucking around?

  • MNG||

    You only are reacting this way because you cannot help yourself from reading the idea that regulation cannot be prescriptive into the definition of regulation. The very circular stuff you are accusing me of.

  • anon||

    You only are reacting this way because you cannot help yourself from reading the idea that regulation cannot be prescriptive into the definition of regulation. The very circular stuff you are accusing me of.

    Why don't you regulate me up some warp drive.

  • anon||

    I mean, I've mandated that it exists, and my regulation clearly states that you have to provide me with one. Come on motherfucker, where's it at?

  • Jeffersonian||

    How are we "without an exchange?" The exchange is exactly what is mandated!

    In other words, Congress is mandating an activity take place so it can regulate it. It has no power to do that.

  • MNG||

    "Mandating the exchange while using the "regulation" as justification is a circle"

    ONLY if you assume that the concept "regulation" cannot include prescriptive regulations as you keep doing. But that is exactly what is at issue!

  • anon||

    ONLY if you assume that the concept "regulation" cannot include prescriptive regulations as you keep doing.

    So, basically, you're saying that I'm right because I'm right. Thanks!

  • MNG||

    The person who begs the question of course thinks they are right, and plainly so because they've assumed what is at stake from the beginning. What a lunkhead someone appears for not seeing that if you define the power to regulate as not including the power to mandate then mandating is not allowed under the power to regulate!

  • anon||

    Whatever. "Mandating" that an exchange exists where there wasn't one to begin with, and then using that mandated transaction as the justification for mandating it is circular logic, and you're a fucking retard. Good day, sir.

  • MNG||

    But I'm not in any way "using the mandated transaction as the justification for mandating", the justification for mandating comes from the power to "make regulations" about X. One of the regulations you can make is "to engage in X." Why wouldn't you be able to make such a rule? Because the power to regulate something does not include prescriptive power? Why should anyone buy that?

    If my boss has "the power to regulate" my workbreaks you mean he can't make a regulation making me take one? WTF?

  • Juice||

    I'm saying, if Congress has the power to regulate commerce, why can't that include the power to make people engage in it?

    If you want to look at commerce as some object to be regulated (since we're playing with language/law here), it would go like this: By forcing people into a commercial activity, you would be regulating the object called commerce. By forcing people into a commercial activity, you would be regulating something else too; a person's physical non-commercial actions. You now prevent them from doing certain non-commercial activities that they could do before.

    Reiterating, there are too things that an individual "mandate-to-purchase" regulates, the commerce that wasn't there before, and personal non-commercial behavior. The first may be legal under a very generously broad interpretation of the commerce clause. The second is not a power delegated to the US government.

  • Juice||

    Two. sheesh.

  • Hyphenated American||

    "I'm saying, if Congress has the power to regulate commerce, why can't that include the power to make people engage in it? There's no presupposition there, just a refusal to rule out that as part of the concept."

    Hm. That's weak. Say, I live in a house, and the law allow me to regulate activities in this house. Does it mean that I have the right to force people at gun point to go into my house?

  • Fluffy||

    Dude, this is moronic.

    If I'm not currently engaged in interstate commerce, I'm not subject to the power.

    The commerce already has to exist before the power exists.

    You can't bootstrap your way to the power by demanding I engage in interstate commerce so you can place me into a state of being subject to the power.

    In fact, attempting to do so would constitute a concession that you don't have the power yet. ("You'll be subject to the power as soon as I force you to engage in commerce!"

  • MNG||

    Wow, this axiom is bred pretty deep in you guys.

    "The commerce already has to exist before the power exists."

    Why? What is in the concept "power to regulate" in an area that means one could not make a prescriptive regulation in that area?

    You keep saying "you don't have that power if I'm not doing it" but my entire point is, the power to regulate entails prescriptive power.

    If I have the power to regulate, or make rules concerning, X, why can't one of the rules I make about X be: you must engage in X? If that is not a rule about X I don't know what it is.

  • ||

    You keep saying "you don't have that power if I'm not doing it" but my entire point is, the power to regulate entails prescriptive power.

    And here is the crux of this circular argument. You refuse to yield that point, and we refuse to accept it. As neither of us can point to a specific case that gives precedent, we will continue arguing until the SC rules on it.

  • MNG||

    But I'm not relying on case law, I'm talking about the way the concept is normally used everyday. If you asked someone "hey, if you had the power to regulate X, would that include you telling someone to do X?" I think they would say "well, yea."

  • ||

    That's one hell of a stretch.

    Word it like this: "If the state has a right to enforce speed limits on the roads, do they have a right to force you to drive."

    What would their response be then?

  • MNG||

    But your again begging the question, the feds are not granted just "the power to enforce driving speeds", they are given "the power to regulate X" period (subject only to the qualifications 1. must be X [commerce] and must be among the states).

    My phrasing is much closer to what the language in Art. I, sec. 8 says.

  • mgd||

    I'm talking about the way the concept is normally used everyday.
    So "regulate" is a synonym for "create"? Because that is what the mandate does. Since commerce is the exchange of goods and service, the mandate creates commerce where none was before. Don't you think if the framers had meant "create and regulate commerce among the several States" they would have said that?

  • d||

    Because, dipshit, the sense of "regulate" used in the Constitution means something like "to make subject to predictable rules". This is the sense of the word we should be debating (since we cannot use modern slang, or the fact that it's Opposite Day, or what have you to justify whatever the hell we want).

    Now, in that sense of "regulate", the commerce has to exist in order for it to be kept in "regular" function. Kind of like how you have to ingest something besides water for fiber to make your bowel movements "regular". Otherwise, you're just going to be pissing a lot (sort of like what you are doing in this forum).

    http://www.bu.edu/rbarnett/Original.htm#IIIB

  • MNG||

    "the sense of "regulate" used in the Constitution means something like "to make subject to predictable rules"."

    And what could be a more predictable rule about commerce than one that says everyone must engage in it? If that's not a rule about commerce, then what is it?

  • d||

    I wish you would regulate your brain into thinking correctly.

  • ||

    Wow.

    Buying x is commerce.
    congress has the power to regulate commerce.
    Congress forces you to buy x.
    You are now engaged in commerce, therefore congress can regulate your activity.

    Nowhere in that argument is justification for congress to force you into engaging in commerce. Nowhere in the consititution is there justification for it either. Regulating commerce and forcing people into commerce so that you can regulate them is NOT the same thing.

  • MNG||

    "Nowhere in that argument is justification for congress to force you into engaging in commerce."

    It's in the concept "power to regulate." Why should it only be limited to the power to make proscriptive rules or rules about how to conduct already involved conduct? The only reason to limit to that is to read your personal political philosophy in there. There's nothing inherent in the term "power to regulate" that forbids regulations to DO something.

    "Nowhere in the consititution is there justification for it either."

    Sure there is, where it gives Congress "the power to regulate" this kind of commerce. Notice it doesn't say "the power to regulate existing commercial conduct."

  • Brian D||

    So when did the government force you to purchase slaves when slavery was legal, or purchase machinery to fuel the industrial revolution?

    Is there a legal precedent for your rationale? I suspect not.

  • ||

    So then, they can compell you to engage in any sort of commerce, right? Because the regulation of any kind of commerce includes the power to mandate that people participate in it, right?
    So basically your saying that Congress can make you buy anything.

  • MNG||

    "So basically your saying that Congress can make you buy anything."

    As long as it is part of an interstate market, yes.

    It's nice to see how quickly it all come back to "that can't be, because then the feds have so much power!" It comes back to a "spirit of the laws" argument pretty quick.

  • MNG||

    Hazel

    I think the commerce power is way out of hand btw. But I don't see an activity distinction in it unless you read certain axioms into the text, axioms that are not obviously there.

    But I would overrule Wickard and all related precedent (Raich). The clause clearly sets a limit to interstate commerce and Wickard perversely ruled "nah, it can apply to intrastate commerce.

    I might be willing to accept the reasoning of Heart of Atlanta Hotel v. US, but any further than that you get a commerce power in violation of its limits.

  • ||

    But if congress can mandate commerce, then they can mandate internstate commerce.

    If they can mandate me to purchase interstate-traded apples, they can mandate that apple-producers trade their apples between states.

    After all, as you say, the power to regulate internsate commerce includes the power to madate commerce. So if there's some commerce somewhere, why can't they mandate that it be interstate in nature?

  • MNG||

    "But if congress can mandate commerce, then they can mandate internstate commerce."

    No they can't, as the text limits the regulatory power to "commerce among the states."

    So they can make you engage in interstate commerce, but not intrastate commerce.

  • ||

    You missed my point. If the power to regulate includes the power to mandate that you engage in interstate commerce, why can't they turn any intrastate market into an interstate one? They can just make everyone engaged in intrastate commerce purchase products across state lines, thus "regulating" interstate commerce by mandating that people already in intrastate commerce engage in it.

  • anon||

    You missed my point. If the power to regulate includes the power to mandate that you engage in interstate commerce, why can't they turn any intrastate market into an interstate one?

    Because he caught himself using circular logic as I pointed out earlier.

  • MNG||

    Interstate commerce in health insurance already exists, everyone agrees on that, all 9 justices are going to say that, likely in a conclusory sentence.

    Some people are not engaged in it now. But using their power to regulate that intestate commerce they care going to mandate they get into it. It's one way to regulate commerce, by making everyone not currently involved get in. Can you explain how that is not an example of "regulating commerce" without reading "already existing" into either "regulate" or "commerce?"

  • ||

    Interstate commerce in health insurance already exists

    But you just said that commerce doesn't have to be "already existing" in order to be regulated. You just spend several posts insisting that's not obvious.

    You're contradicting yourself. You're saying the interstate market already has to exist before they can create new commerce by mandating that people join it. But your own logic would make it possible to create a new interstate market, by "regulating"it into existence through mandates.

  • MNG||

    It doesn't have to be already existing by everyone. It exists, some people are not involved in that existence, but one way to regulate the existing commerce is to make more people get involved.

  • Robert||

    Or, closer to the subject than the car or broccoli examples, because such a thing as the health insurance business exists (and because their business in any individual state has an effect on the company's overall business nationwide, including interstate investment in insurance companies), federal law could compel individuals to open health insurance firms, or to invest in ones already existing.

  • MNG||

    You're saying "they can't make these people participate in this already existing market because 1. the power to regulate doesn't include the power to make prescriptive rules and/or 2. the commerce regulated has to already be one already involved in.

    But as I said, here you are just asking everyone to accept a definition of "the power to regulate" that assumes what we are debating, and one that is contrary to how "the power to mandate" has been understood in other contexts (i.e., the police power case below). Ditto with your assumption about commerce, but it's even worse for you here: interstate commerce in health insurance is existing, it's just that some are not involved. But certainly one way to "regulate" the already existing commerce in this area is to mandate more people get involved in it that currently are'nt.

  • ||

    No, I'm asting you to use a consistent definition of "regulate".

    You are switching back and force between whether the commerce exists or not prior to regulating.

    If the power to regulate includes the power to mandate people who are not in an interstate market joint it, how does it not also encompass the power to create an interstate market? Why is it relevant that the the interstate market "exist" prior to being regulated?

  • MNG||

    Regulate means to make rules about, rules that can be prescriptive (you must do x) or prohibitory (you must not do y).

    So a power to regulate interstate commerce would mean a power to say "you must engage in interstate commerce x."

    I think I see where we are missing each other. You said "well, what is to stop them from creating interstate commerce by telling people 'you have to stop currently buying x intrastate and instead by it interstate.'" My answer should have been: they can't make you stop buying someting intrastate (that's beyond the clause) but yes, they can make you engage in interstate commerce.

  • MNG||

    "but yes, they can make you engage in interstate commerce."

    And yes, they could "create" the interstate commerce, but that's not at issue here since such commerce plainly goes on.

  • ||

    Yes, but by your logic, their power isn't limited to only interstate commerce, because they can create new interstate commerce any time they want.
    Why even bother with the word "interstate"?

  • ||

    Yes, but by your logic, their power isn't limited to only interstate commerce, because they can create new interstate commerce any time they want.

    "All citizens will be required to change their underwear every half hour. Underwear will be worn on the outside so we can check."

    ----General Emilio M. Vargas

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwMSQhTMrZs

  • ||

    MNG, you seem to be forgetting that the power to regulate commerce is not the grand, sweeping grant of power you construe to it to be.

    The commerce clause is not some open ended, limitless blank slate. It must be read in relation to the constitution, as a whole, and to the ends for which it was proposed by its supporters and as represented by them to the ratifiers.

    Thus, in looking at the clause in relation to the relation to the constitution as a whole, one must recognize that the 9th amendment is a pretty powerful shield. It was designed to protect individual liberty from the ambitions of rent seeking reprobates and their political interventionist allies.

  • MNG||

    "It must be read in relation to the constitution, as a whole"

    Yes, this is the "spirit of the laws" argument I referenced upthread. Imo it's really the only one the anti-mandate side has.

  • MNG||

    "Why even bother with the word "interstate"?"

    Because it's a limitation on the kinds of commerce they can make rules about, including the rule to engage in it.

    So they could say "when you buy interstate apples, they must be green ones only" or they could say "you must buy a interstate green apple a year" or "you can't buy any interstate green apples."

    What they could not do is say "you must buy intrastate apples" or "you can't buy any intrastate apples" or even "if you buy intrastate apples you have to buy green ones." They can't say jack about a purely intrastate commercial event.

  • Fluffy||

    So they can make you engage in interstate commerce, but not intrastate commerce.

    Well, then we're back to a previous debate we had about this - because if I'm buying something from a local agent in my state, I'm clearly not engaged in interstate commerce, even if the other company is an interstate company.

    If I walk down to the corner and go to McDonald's and buy a hamburger, I personally did not engage in interstate commerce.

    Maybe McDonald's did at some point, but every economic transaction is distinct. The franchisee and the parent corporation may have engaged in interstate commerce, but I sure didn't.

  • ||

    Given that the federal government was conceived as a limited government and that all of its powers were granted to it and that it could not assume any others as there was no grant of power given to any branch authorizing it to expand its powers, it is only logical to conclude that whenever there is a conflict between a grant of power to the legislature and the ninth amendment, the former must be subordinate to the latter.

  • ||

    There is no grant of power to any branch of government authorizing it to balance the panopoly of individual rights protected by the ninth amendment against the powers sought to be exercised by another branch.

    THe bill of rights are not a bill of admonitions or suggestions. That their protection may nullify Congress' attempts to regulate commerce is by design.

  • ||

    Moreover, can any person come up with evidence that the ratifiers were told by the supporters of the proposed constitution that congress would have the power to require that an individual purchase a particular good or service under the commerce clause upon pain of fines and incarceration?

    Try finding that evidence.

  • ||

    ^^Bears repeating^^

  • ||

    Moreover, can any person come up with evidence that the ratifiers were told by the supporters of the proposed constitution that congress would have the power to require that an individual purchase a particular good or service under the commerce clause upon pain of fines and incarceration?

    Try finding that evidence.

  • MNG||

    "If I walk down to the corner and go to McDonald's and buy a hamburger, I personally did not engage in interstate commerce."

    I'm glad that you admit this, that McDonalds is not engaged in interstate commerce....That kind of admission I think says it all about this line of argument.

  • MNG||

    By that logic when the Fuller Brush people send someone from MD to VA with products made in NY, and they knock on the door in VA and the guy answers and buys some of the products, no interstate commerce occured in that transaction.

    After all, the sale itself only took place in VA.

    This is the absurd places this kind of argument leads.

  • ||

    Actually, it would depend on where the Fuller Brush guy was operating out of. If he was an employee of Fuller Brush, then it would be Interstate Commerce. If he was a franchisee, it would depend if he was incorporated in MD, VA or NY as to whether or not it would be interstate commerce.

    In the McDonalds scenario, it would depend if the store in question was a corporately-owned McDonalds or a franchisee. If a corporately-owned one, it would be interstate commerce if it was not in Illinois. If it's a franchise, it would depend if the restaurant was located in the state the franchise was incorporated it.

    It's actually pretty simple.

  • MNG||

    If the salesman was carrying a "script" worked on, approved by and given to him by Fuller Brush Inc.,, a company located in many states sharing resources between facilities, and selling products manufactured in several of these facilities, and if the customer had a problem he could call one of several nationally operated Fuller Brush call centers....THAT wouldn't be interstate commerce?

    Because, wow. If that is not, what is?

  • MNG||

    btw-I used this example because this is very near the exact relationship of most locally lisenced insurance salesmen and their parent affiliated national companies.

    Your local Aetna guy likely is regularly flown to conferences and training by the national org., gets call center and policy support, etc. The policies they sell are vetted and designed by the big office at the national level, etc.

    This is why noone to my knowledge, even those who ideologically fully agree with you guys here, has even put that argument in any of the briefs in any of the appellate courts that have ruled on this issue, pro or con.

  • ||

    Because, wow. If that is not, what is?

    What "is" is when a person engages in a transaction with a company that is incorporated in another state. Period. Full stop.

    Do you also think I'm engaging in interstate commerce if I drive from Visalia to Fresno because the gravel in the asphalt came from a pit in Nevada?

  • MNG||

    So if I am a franchisee of a company that is incorporated in another state, and they send me the products I sell, tell me how to sell them, provide me with support and I have to kick a percentage back to them, I'm not engage in interstate commerce?

  • ||

    Of course you are engaged in interstate commerce. You are buying something from another state. Your customer, on the other hand, is not engaged in interstate commerce with you. They may, in the future, choose to engage in interstate commerce if they contract support with the parent company. But that can't be determined until they choose to do business with them.

    Anticipated business != interstate commerce.

  • MNG||

    So the franchisee, who ordered the product from out of state and prepared it via directions designed out of state, and who has to give a portion of the payment to the out of state affiliate, is not engaging in interstate commerce when they do what the transaction that motivated all of that interstate commerce? That seems odd.

  • ||

    No, they aren't. They are engaging in out of state commerce when they buy the stuff, but not when they go to a third party and conduct an entirely different transaction.
    You're saying from the time the raw materials are procured until the consumer purchases the finished product is a single transaction, and that's just not so.

  • MNG||

    By your reasoning the National Football League is not engaged in much interstate commerce at all. I mean, after all, the games themselves never cross state lines.

    Think about that and you get how strange this view is. The NFL is, after all, on its face a NATIONAL league of teams fom various states traveling to one another and playing games for which they charge. If your views leads you find that this is not interstate commerce then I'd suggest you revisit them.

  • ||

    (and send me your e-mail address, MiNGe. We want to send you a wedding invite.)

  • MNG||

    I never give out that, but I'm truly honored by the invite. I wish you and your spouse to be (banjos?) the best future!

  • MJ||

    That is precisely one of the grounds the 11th circuit struck down the individual mandate on. The administration could not explain what limits there are to the commerce clause if it allows the government compelling the purchase of specific types of purchases. It is rather sad that you think the a "spirit of the laws" argument amounts to some kind of logical fallcy.

  • ||


    So they could say "when you buy interstate apples, they must be green ones only" or they could say "you must buy a interstate green apple a year" or "you can't buy any interstate green apples."

    What they could not do is say "you must buy intrastate apples" or "you can't buy any intrastate apples" or even "if you buy intrastate apples you have to buy green ones." They can't say jack about a purely intrastate commercial event.

    But with the "aggregate effects" doctrine all intrastate apple market commerce IS regulatable, because it substantially affects the interstate market in apples.

    And you're nuts if you think SCOTUS is going to toss out substantial effect and aggregation just so they can make room for purchase mandates.

  • MNG||

    "But with the "aggregate effects" doctrine all intrastate apple market commerce IS regulatable, because it substantially affects the interstate market in apples."

    And this is why I've said over and over Wickard is wrong. It's Wickard that distorts IC clause law, not this non-textual "inactivity" distinction thing.

    If you're arguing "well, given Wickard if we don't have an activity distinction then the spirit of the Constitution as a limited government document is undermined" then you're back to the "spirit of the laws" argument, which is I'd say your best argument, though having problems of its own.

  • ||

    And this is why I've said over and over Wickard is wrong. It's Wickard that distorts IC clause law, not this non-textual "inactivity" distinction thing.

    So you think SCOTUS should overturn Wickard, only to make room for purchase mandates.

    First of all, that ain't gonna happen. Second of all, it doesn't even make any sense, because if purchase mandates are allowed they could create an interstate commerce market in wheat just by forcing Wickard to sell his wheat to someone in another state. Thus making the commerce interstate and allowing them to impose a wheat quota anyway.

  • ||

    Or, well, forcing someone in another state to buy wheat from him. Either way. If "regulating interstate commerce" includes "mandating interstate commerce", they can still regulate any commerce they want just by making interstate buying and selling of the product mandatory.

  • MNG||

    Sure, they could make him sell or make someone buy interstate wheat.

    But what they couldn't do is touch commerce that was only intrastate (like in Raich).

  • MNG||

    "It is rather sad that you think the a "spirit of the laws" argument amounts to some kind of logical fallcy."

    I don't think that, I think its the best anti-mandate argument and have said so here several times. I just think "spirit of the laws" arguments are kind of vague and amorphous.

  • ||

    I think a limiting principle based on activity/inactivity, or rather :inside a market" vs. "outside a market" is a lot more clear of a line than "substantial effects", "aggregate" etc.

    It's also a heck a lot more of a limiter than your idiotic notion that they can compell commerce, so long as it's interstate. That's no limiter at all. They can mandate any market they want, in anything, into existence.

  • MNG||

    "than your idiotic notion that they can compell commerce, so long as it's interstate"

    That's not my notion, that's what the Constitution says. It says "power to regulate" and that power conceptually, historically, and legally has usually included the power to make prescriptive rules.

  • ||

    Nonsense. The notion that it includes the power to force people into the activity being regulated is something you just invented out of whole cloth. Presumably because you're bored and have nothing better to do than carry on extended arguments that would never be taken seriously in an actual court. It's not a historical accident that congress "just happened" to never try to compell people to do stuff as part of it's regulatory power. It's because nobody ever thought that regulation included the power to force people into the regulated market before.

  • ||

    I can't see how you say inactivity=commerce. Wouldn't that also grant the fedgov the power to force people to have a car in every driveway? Or solar panels on every roof?

    It's a slippery slope if this law is upheld. And it's a steep one at that.

  • MNG||

    Under the mandate you would have to buy insurance. Buying insurance is commerce.

    Your saying "but you're making me do that, I wasn't in it already, you can't make rules about what I wasn't doing?"

    And I say "why?" That's my point. Your only response is to say "well, the idea 'already existing' is somehow implicit in the idea "to regulate" or "commerce." And that's certainly not obvious.

  • ||

    But when presented as "You must purchase a car," that argument falls flat because there's no way the government should be able to compel either of those activities (buying a car or installing solar panels). But any way you slice it, that's the argument the government is making in this case.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But is NOT buying insurance "commerce"?

  • ||

    But is NOT buying insurance "commerce"?

    Is being a virgin considered "sexual activity"?

  • anon||

    Pretty good analogy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    +1 shiny, shiny internet for sloopy.

  • anon||

    The more I think about this, the more I like it.

    "We have to teach your kindergarteners about sex because they're virgins, and that's obviously sexual activity."

  • ||

    Remember where you saw it first.

  • MNG||

    Actually, the analogy would be if an agency had "the power to regulate sexuality"*. That agency couldn't order people to have sex? That would certainly be a regulation about sex.

    * you know Santorum would love it.

  • ||

    Not to be pedantic, but sexuality is one's sexual preference or capacity for sexual feelings. IOW, it is a state of mind.
    Sexual activity is more akin to commerce, as it is an action.

  • MNG||

    You're right, I change my analogy to the power to regulate sexual activity.

  • Hyphenated American||

    And North Korean government would have the power to forcefully move them to North Korea - because they regulate what people do in North Korea. Right?

  • Jerryskids||

    MNG is right. Wickard said a farmer not engaged in commerce was affecting interstate commerce and therefore it was within the power of the government under the Commerce Clause to regulate his activity.

    If "regulate" = "make more regular" a mandate that every American buy exactly 1 pound of broccoli every other week makes the commerce in broccoli more regular. The making of commerce more regular I think would include the power to tell you "you have to be a truckdriver, he has to be a plumber, she has to be a landscaper".

    That is exactly what the government is arguing. The power to make commerce regular is the power to do everything.

    Saying it is a bad idea to have a government of unlimited power is not going to win you a SCOTUS case. Witness Wickard.

    Also notice that nowhere did I say this was a good idea. And I don't see offhand where MNG said it was a good idea either.

  • d||

    No-one is simply saying "it is a bad idea". What we're saying (in the poorly named [here] "spirit of the law" response) is that the text of the Constitution must be interpreted as a coherent whole, and it cannot contradict itself. One cannot cherry pick bits here and there without ensuring that these bits, taken as a whole, are consistent with the whole document and with one another. This (cherry picking without considering the whole document) is what dreaming up all the possible meanings 'regulate' could have amounts to. The "spirit of the law" response (which would be better named the "logically consistent" response) is that the vast majority of dreamed-up senses of 'regulate' are inconsistent with the plain language of the Constitution. No amount of armchair, lawyerly posturing and pretend philosophizing can change that.

  • TOWM||

    MNG is right. Wickard said a farmer not engaged in commerce was affecting interstate commerce and therefore it was within the power of the government under the Commerce Clause to regulate his activity.
    --------------

    But Wickard was actively participating in the activity the government was regulating, growing wheat.

    MNG is arguing that the government has the power to force Wickard to grow wheat, in order for the government to be able to tell him he couldn't grow wheat.

  • Fluffy||

    Why?

    Because in the absence of interstate commerce, the power doesn't exist.

    Let's say an asteroid hits North America and every last person in the lower 48 states and Alaska is dead. Only Hawaii is left.

    The people in Hawaii close their borders.

    Somehow there's a rump federal government in Hawaii.

    Can that federal government regulate interstate commerce? Clearly it can, since the power remains.

    But there's no interstate commerce going on, so the power never comes into play.

    If it's possible for a state of being to exist where the interstate commerce power can still exist on paper, but can't be exercised, that to me says pretty plainly that there has to be interstate commerce before the power can be used.

  • MNG||

    "Because in the absence of interstate commerce, the power doesn't exist."

    Again, this just assumes at the beginning, contrary to common and historical use of the concept btw, that regulation cannot be of the kind that orders someone into something.

    If I have the power to make rules about commerce, why wouldn't I have the power to make people engage in commerce? If that rule is not "a rule about commerce" then wtf is it?

  • TOWM||

    If I have the power to make rules about commerce, why wouldn't I have the power to make people engage in commerce? If that rule is not "a rule about commerce" then wtf is it?
    ------

    Making people engage in commerce is not the regulation of commerce. Forcing people to engage in commerce is the regulation of people's individual actions, which is not a power granted to the federal government.

  • ||

    And that's certainly not obvious.

    Wrong. It's completely obvious. The idea that a power to regulate entails a power to commandeer is utterly asinine, a violation of common sense, formal English definitions, and ordinary usage.

    Honestly, this "well, the power to regulate implies a power to mandate" argument you're making is such laughable bullshit that it's amazing anybody bothers to try to debate it with you, rather than simply fitting you with clown shoes and a "kick me" sign. It's completely juvenile, and sad commentary on the state of the American educational system that anybody could conceivably take it seriously.

  • MNG||

    Here's a paraphrase of your post:

    You're wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. You are wrong. Wrong.

    Every sentence in there just repeats your conclusory statement.

    Now that's what I'd call asinine.

  • ||

    Look, Mange. There are some arguments that are just so profoundly moronic that they do not deserve to be dignified; only ridiculed. Among these are things like:

    "The sky is mauve."

    "The moon landings were staged."

    "The power to regulate implies a power to mandate."

    If you want to go on pretending that you're being insightful rather than attacking common sense, the dictionary, ordinary usage, and the practice of the American government for the last two and a half centuries, then by all means feel free. But nobody else is obligated to play along, and treat your nonsense as if it has some merit that warrants a substantive rebuttal. It doesn't. Please drive through.

  • Jerryskids||

    "Regulating commerce = regulating anything that affects commerce." Wickard v. Filburn (paraphrased)

  • MNG||

    If you want limiting principles from the actual text there are two: that the regulations have to be commercial (this was recognized as a limit in Morrison and Lopez), and it must touch only commerce among the several states. This means Wickard was wrongly ruled. But I'm afraid this doesn't apply in this case.

  • ||

    Here's my limiting principle: the individual mandate sucks even if it is constitutional.

    The best remedy for this is getting a critical mass of Americans to oppose the individual mandate to the extent that our politicians get rid of it, and that probably includes making sure Obama gets thrown out on his ass.

    If the Supreme Court dashes the hope of the majority of the American people and keeps the individual mandate alive, then I can't imagine how that could be good news for the Obama reelection campaign. ...so color me marginally more optimistic either way.

    Who do you think swing voters are going to blame for ObamaCare? It sure as hell ain't gonna be George W. Bush.

  • MNG||

    "Here's my limiting principle: the individual mandate sucks even if it is constitutional."

    I agree. Were I a legislator I would have voted against it. I still think it will be repealed legislatively.

  • ||

    Note here also that the ONLY reason why the individual mandate is there to begin with (and why it's being fought for) is because financially the whole house of cards collapses without it.

  • ||

    PlainBill, I am not sure the house of cards wont collapse eventually even with the mandate intact. In fact, with a little reflection I am pretty certain that it will.

  • anon||

    PlainBill, I am not sure the house of cards wont collapse eventually even with the mandate intact.

    The mandate is just another card on the house. It's doomed to collapse under its own weight soon.

  • ||

    According to the Obama Administration, ObamaCare cannot survive without the individual mandate.

    You might be right or wrong about it collapsing even with the mandate, but even the Obama Administration concedes that ObamaCare cannot survive without it.

  • ||

    Yeah, but I wouldn't hold my breath on them not still trying to enforce it if the SC rules against just the mandate. It'll still be full steam ahead on a failed scheme with a call for a constitutional amendment or impeachment of a judge or two who voted against it.

  • ||

    It should require a big spending bill to keep it afloat without the mandate.

    As soon as that request hits Congress, he's gonna have to give. Winning or losing a contentious negotiation is always a function of leverage. Without the mandate, a second term Obama would have virtually no leverage.

    He's gonna lose that fight.

    Romney will probably promise to overturn the individual mandate before he gets elected.

    Either way, it all comes to a head on January 1, 2014.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O....._1.2C_2014

    The mandate goes in place at the same time as the prohibition against denying coverage for preexisting conditions. If there isn't enough support in both chambers of Congress to make up for a no-mandate ObamaCare after the next mid-term, then ObamaCare should die right then and there.

    ...if the court rules against the mandate.

  • ||

    Here's another better argument:

    As we've seen with the birth control debate, the imposition of positive mandates to purchase products conflicts with other constitutionally protected liberties. Not just the takings clause, but also First Amendment protections on freedom of conscience. Once you start compelling people to do things, you're much more likely to be forcing people to act against their conscience than by merely forbidding certain actions.

    This is why there are so few positive mandates traditionally imposed by citizenship, and even in the case of the draft, we make exceptions for pacifists. Western civilization has always reserved compulsion of the citizenry to matters essential to the survival of the nation (i.e. defending the country in a war).

  • MNG||

    That argument doesn't work I think.

    For example, localities have used their police power, which is often referred to btw as the "power to regulate for the morals, health and safety of the public," to mandate, for example, that people keep a gun in their home. To my knowledge these exercises of the "power to regulate"* have never been successfully challenged, though the implications for other recognized rights is quite plain I should think.

    *in a different area of course, I'm not saying the power granted in the Commerce Clause is a federal police power, just that the "power to regulate" is one that has, in the applicable area it is tied to, has often been used to justify prescriptive regulations

  • ||

    Yes, in the early US some localities mandates that every able bodied man own a musket. As I've already pointed out that is one of those rare cases where the duty of citizenship to defend the nation justified a compulsion to act (according to the Western legal tradition). But even in those cases society quickly evolved to make exceptions for pacifists. We don't even have a draft anymore.

    Positive compulsions to act have always been reserved for essential duties of citizenship. And actually in our society, based on the Western liberal tradition. The duty to defend the country is designed to be a duty to defend the other liberties. In an extremity, the citizenry is called upon to defend the constitution, which products them from being compelled to any number of other actions.

  • MNG||

    Actually recently localities have mandate a gun in the home, and not for national security. And this mandate, done under "the power to regulate for the morals, safety and health of the public" was to my knowledge never successfully challenged.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K.....ia#Gun_law

  • ||

    I think you know pretty well that it needs to be enforced for someone to have standing to challange it. And that if they tried to enforce it, it would quickly be challanged and struct down.

  • MNG||

    Do you think this law still stands because of that? It stands because no one thinks they can beat it. The ACLU would love to strike this law and would only need one plaintiff. But they've never even talked of a suit. Mandates have long been thought of as included in the "power to regulate" in whatever area that power is applied to (in this case the health, safey and morals of the public, in the Commerce cases to the areas of interstate commerce).

  • ||

    You have to have someone who refuses to obey the law and is charged with a penalty before you can raise a suit. If the locality hasn't actually done that 9hasn't bothered to enforce the law) they can't raise a case.

  • ||

    This is why in every local freedom-of-religion case, you always have a PERSON, like an atheist student, who is objecting to the school prayer or the nativity display or whatnot. The ACLU has no standing to challange unless there is a plaintiff.

  • ||

    The only thing that would give standing is a conviction for breaking the law, and I haven't heard of one yet.
    But that said, the Arizona Immigration law was challenged and found unconstitutional before implementation, so maybe MiNGe has a point.*

    *The AZ case may have been brought up illegally as there was no standing to bring it to trial. But that's obviously unimportant to the Obama DOJ.

  • ||

    You can bring a class-action lawsuit, and the federal government can file suit (both in the case of the arizona law) before a law takes effect.

    I think you would have trouble getting enough people together to file a class-action lawsuit against this gun law since it's a small locality.

  • ||

    Perhaps, but I thought a class-action suit just meant common petitioners and had nothing to do with the size of the group. IANAL, so I may be off on this.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ...I thought a class-action suit just meant common petitioners and had nothing to do with the size of the group.

    CART. Commonality, Adequacy, Numerosity, and Typicality. I remembered something from my Business Law class.

  • ||

    You're right. I think a class action lawsuit still wouldn't work. In order to challange the law the ACLU would have to send someone to live there, openly flout the law until the local government charged him for violating, got a conviction and THEN they could take the case to a higher court.

  • ||

    That's 2015 at the earliest.

    You just have to wait for the IRS to charge someone with a crime for not paying the fee instead of buying health insurance.

    Hell, they're not even going to do that. They're just going to garnish your wages or send you a letter.

    The mandate doesn't take effect until January of 2014, so if you're paying taxes for 2014 in April of 2015, then you're probably not going to hear back from the IRS for not paying the fee in lieu of health insurance for another nine months...you might be able to contest the law in 2016 on something the IRS does.

    Now how long does it take to get through the courts?

  • MNG||

    Even in the most po-dunk TX or TN towns the ACLU can find one person to challenge a law, I find it hard to believe if they thought this was winnable they couldn't find a resident of this town to challenge it.

    The power to regulate in the area of citizen safety, morals and welfare, i.e., the police power, has included the power to mandate for a long time.* This is just one recent example of its use. It doesn't happen much, because it's politically unpopular to mandate things (and it should be).

    *note: I'm not equating the state police power with the feds IC clause power; the latter is clearly circumsribed to a smaller area; but in both cases "the power to regulate" is featured, and in the former it uncontroversially allows mandates

  • shrike||

    Arbeit Macht Frei

  • Binky||

    the government will simply state that all people are "inside the [healthcare] market" merely by living.

    We'd better have mandated funeral insurance too, then.

  • ||

    OT: Just got a delivery from Amazon, bringing the DVD collection to 604. And we've started to watch them all ala the "Six Degrees Of Separation" method using only actors/directors and not being able to use the same one twice. It's quite an experiment, especially when you tie HOTW Part I, Demolition Man, The Hudsucker Proxy, Dude, Where's My Car and Star Trek: Nemesis in a row.

  • ||

    The question is whether the government should be able to force you to watch them in that order under the authority of the commerce clause.

    ...and I think MNG is arguing that the government does have that authority under the commerce clause--although I think he agrees that it shouldn't.

  • anon||

    Well of course. He can mandate anything he wants, because mandating something is part of regulating it.

  • Where's the utilitarian stance||

    ...that ya'll use against White Indian to justify city-Statist aggression -- and that was used to pass this bill?

    And is it ok to call you a bunch of BUTTHURT LOSERS? Hey, Obama has the political power, and you little puny indians yearning to gambol around in freedom LOST.

    LOST I tells ya!

    Anyway, you've stood strong against freedom for White Indian, so I expect you'll get that city-Statism (that you proclaim is so superior) good and hard.

    Funny. Every. Single. Day.

    For one reason: your contradictions that you stupidly cling to.

  • ||

    Woohoo! Ohio State plays tonight! If they win, I get good sex. If they lose, I get really good rough sex.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Losers have low testosterone.

    And since your loser boy voted against Obama, it's already plenty low anyway.

    "...researchers found that the testosterone levels of men who voted for John McCain or Robert Barr dropped sharply 40 minutes after Obama was announced the winner."

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/M.....id=8884703

    GET IT UP FOR WINNING CITY-STATISM (civilization,) GOOD AND HARD.

  • ||

    I'm just about to cancel my subscription, because I know that Virginia Postrel, were she still here, would never let a place called reason get to the point it has where we are letting people shill for Team Blue like this poster above. The editors need to turn in their Libertarian Party decoder rings and burn the offices to the ground. Seriously, people. ^^This^^ kind of shit polluting our boards is why nobody takes us seriously.
    SLD applies, but this shithead needs to be banned immediately.

  • anon||

    I already offered to donate $100 for lifetime ban of it.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    To be fair, you'd have to ban everybody who uses Team Blue progressivist arguments against White Indian.

    Which means you. And sloopy.

  • ||

    **WHOOSH**

    Hahaha. You dumb bastard. It's not a schooner. It's a sailboat.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    you're just a sore loser, sloopy.

    I'm not "Team Blue" any more than you are.

    I'm just making fun of you for using the very same Team Blue arguments against White Indian that Team Blue uses against you.

    I'm revealing your contradictions.

    And, yeah, it hurts.

  • ||

    I was just trying to give alcohol poisoning to as many people as I can.

    And don't worry, I don't take you seriously at all.

    And, yeah, it hurts.

    I'm sorry about that. But I think they make a cream. You should ask your doctor.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    I'm not the one mewling like a domesticated puppy, sloopy.

    You're all butthurt because White Indian has captured your "statist" imprecation AND because White Indian has show you to be a city-Statist progressivist as in love with city-Statism as any Team Blue player.

  • ||

    AND because White Indian has show you to be a city-Statist progressivist

    Yeah, gee whiz, he really got me good.

    Douchebag.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    True, I've got you good, douchebag.

  • ||

    You're Schmoopy!

  • ||

    Schmoopy is in hot water from throwing grapefruits at my kittehs.

  • Mike M.||

    I see that diabetes-face has got himself a new IP address. He's probably using the free Wi-Fi at McDonald's while shoveling four or five Big Macs into his fat belly.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Run out of effective arguments, so you're going to obsess about the body of one of the folks I reference?

    Neato "reason" tactic, there. I'm impressed.

    You're at, oh, a 2nd grade level of discourse.

    Yeah, typical Libertarian Loser.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Well, you do claim that the "human form [isn't] something that needs to be hidden" (i.e. you're a nudist). Seems you're the one obsessed with bodies, not us.

  • anon||

    Dude,

    Godesky's "human form" (and I use that term loosely) always needs to be hidden.

  • ||

    I see that diabetes-face has got himself a new IP address.

    Wait...SugarFree is White Imbecile?

  • Jeramy||

    Yes, because it is ever so libertarian to censor speech and deny opinions.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Libertarian "principles" are mere debate conveniences.

  • ||

    enforcing private property rights != censorship.
    And you missed the joke as well.

  • Jeramy||

    Ah, I see. Kinda new here, didn't know about that one. Looks fun.

  • anon||

    Unfortunately, if you play by the rules, you're drunk after morning links.

  • anon||

    There is a difference between opining and trolling. Clearly he's the latter.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Anybody who shows contradictions is a "troll," because nobody wants to hear about their own contradictions.

    Only others hold contradictions, ya know.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Put up some logical contradictions, and you might get a better reception.

  • ||

    Honky Injun has the freedom to say whatever the fuck he wants, but he does NOT have the RIGHT to say it on someone else's private property. If Reason chooses to, they can ban his ass and it would not in the least bit be anti-libertarian.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Sour Grapes, anyone?

    Let's make some whine.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Re-read Aesop, fool.

    The fox, after realizing he could not reach the grapes, decided they were probably sour anyway.

    Rationalization.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    whooosh, over your head

    Oh, the irony.

    Rationalization, indeed.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The phrase has nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the fictional fox deciding that the grapes he could not reach, were probably sour.

    You're nicked. Admit it.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Keep swingin'

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Keep denying you're improperly using the term "sour grapes".

  • ||

    It's un-libertarian to advocate government censorship; it's perfectly libertarian for private entities like Reason to protect their own site property.

    Let's say you're a homeowner, Jeramy. And when you woke up this morning, you found that I had filled your front yard with dozens of signs denouncing you and your family with childish taunts.

    Would you take those signs down or would you leave them up in the name of free speech?

    Now imagine that the signs proliferate daily until the point that they start filling your house, so that it's no longer possible for you and your family to use your home as intended. Can't really cook in the kitchen. Can't get to the bedroom...

    Are you still leaving the signs where they are in the name of free speech?

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Another standard Libertarian BULLSHIT argument: It's only censorship when teh gummit does it.

    WIKI: Censorship is the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.


    Since "ownership" is control, and the "controlling body" here is Teh Kochsuckers, when they remove my comments, by any rational definition, it's called censorship.

  • ||

    I didn't say it was only censorship when the government does it. I said it shouldn't be condemned when private entities do it to protect their own property.

    Vandalism isn't protected speech, and what you're doing effectively equates to vandalism.

  • ||

    The operative phrase from Wiki, and the one you conveniently ignore is public communication . And speech on a privately owned website is not public speech by any definition.

    Nice try, fuckhead.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Seems public to me.

    I'm here. You're here.

    Nice try, Libertarian loser.

  • ||

    This isn't Mr. Hand's US History class, dumbass. It's a privately owned website that has every right to control the content that is put on it.

  • ||

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    I'm here. You're here. Seems to me that comment is open to the public.

    Keep swinging, libertarian loser.

  • ||

    "I'm here. You're here. Seems to me that comment is open to the public."

    The following appears at the top of every single thread--including this thread.

    "Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time."

    Go ahead, scroll up and look! It's on top of the very first comment in this thread and every other thread.

    Just becasue people invite you into their house doesn't mean they can't kick you out for being uncivil.

  • ||

    Just becasue people invite you into their house doesn't mean they can't kick you out for being uncivil a big fat cunt.

    FIFY

  • ||

    Just because some people invited you into their house, that doesn't make it public property either.

  • ||

    LLC is Jeff Spicoli.
    We're an amply-breasted Stacy Hamilton.
    And reason.com is Mr. Hand.

    It's pretty fucking simple. It is "our time," but it is their class. And if he causes a disruption in their class, they have every right to take his pizza (or posting ability) away.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    A logical question, LLC:

    If you started a website, allowed comments ON that website, *then* removed comments made on your website... is that censorship?

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    If libertarian thought on public affairs is so frail that it cannot withstand public comment, then it really should be discussed apart from open channels of communication.

    Hey, Team Blue can't take it either, so don't feel bad, Libertarian Loser.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    It's not a question of "cannot withstand public comment", it's a question of whether said comments are rational.

    YOU may think you're doing the work of [insert deity's name here], but in reality all you are doing is cut-and-pasting your own tired, illogical comments, over and over, while adding absolutely no substance - especially your off-topic, completely-unrelated screeds.

    You've been doing this for months, from what I can tell - I just got here recently, if you've been paying attention - and, while the "regulars" often go off-topic or post what some might consider to be nonsensical subject matter, at least they're doing so for a good reason.

    Then again, the regulars here are not doing those things merely in order to disrupt and clog up the conversations with malicious intent - as opposed to you, whoever you are.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Again, I will ask: If YOU owned a website, and YOU deleted comments or blocked people from commenting... IS THAT CENSORSHIP?

    I maintain that it is not.

  • ||

    I'd still call it censorship, but it's the same censorship Reason, or any other magazine, engages in when its editors decide not to run some writer's story.

    If the New York Times refuses to print Ken Shultz's take on the Paul Ryan budget on its opinion page, is that censorship?

    I say it is, but it's perfectly appropriate censorship.

    It's like how shooting someone in self-defense is still a homicide. It may not be murder, but it is still a homicide.

  • mgd||

    This. Nobody cares to block Tony or MNG or any of a great many others that post contrary ideas. But they aren't cutting and pasting the same old insane bullshit over and over and over and over and over again.

    All WI is trying to do is to keep anyone from reading a thread by polluting it with too much shit to wade through. That's the difference--vandalism vs. debate.

  • ||

    If libertarian thought on public affairs is so frail that it cannot withstand public comment, then it really should be discussed apart from open channels of communication.

    We withstood public comment around here for 9 years before you showed up.

    What you're doing isn't publicly commenting. You're just purposely disrupting the site.

    What you do isn't like publicly commenting; what you do is like a denial of service attack.

  • Fantasy Disruptor||

    The only thing WI is disrupting is the Libertarian Fantasy world.

    And they are very angry.

  • Jeramy||

    I see your point. And agree with it. Also to me it looked more like he was playing devils advocate than trolling, but I could be wrong. Eh, rule 14.

  • ||

    Sloopy, I dont think team blue shills are the problem. The problem is someone who actually is mentally ill and is fixated for some reason on this site and it's commentariat.

    Of course the possibility exists that this lunacy is an act of sabotage being perpetrated by some progressive operative/operatives.

    In either case, this individual should be banned. Others who try to argue in good faith I have no problem with.

  • ||

    But why do we keep responding to it?
    I blame us.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    I thought there was no "us."

    Yet another libertarian "principle" proven to be a mere debate convenience.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, it's a pretty good example of the principle.

    When Banjoopy says, "He blames us," it's a linguistic convenience.

    No "us" ever replies to you. Every last reply you receive comes from an individual. All of them.

    We at no point concatenate ourselves into some giant Posting Voltron to reply to you.

    Therefore, Banjoopy's statement really means "I blame each individual who is a member of the set 'individuals who reply to White Indian'." The noun "us" makes it shorter to say that, but there really is no such entity as "us".

  • ||

  • Fantasy Disruptor||

    there really is no such entity as "us".

    I bet you're still wondering why nobody takes Libertarian Fantasy Island seriously.

    Smiles, everyone... smiles!

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Suthenboy would make a good Communist Comrade, as they think all political dissent is a mental disease.

    And he's as conspiracy minded as a Communist Comrade. "Sabotage." "Operatives."

    Da, tovarisch.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Somebody is good at staying inside, arguing on the Internet, and consuming multiple 14 1/2 ounce bags of Bugles in a single sitting.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    The regulars here engage in "political dissent" all the time.

    However, at least they do so rationally, as compared to yourself.

  • Fantasy Disruptor||

    Rational at reason? You made a funny.

  • Hip Hop Anonymous||

    Haha so what team do you want to win?

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    City-Statist Political Flavors:

    • Team Red
    • Team Blue
    Team Libertarian Losers

    They're all city-Statists, so who gives a shit who wins?

  • ||

    Haha so what team do you want to win?

    The Buckeyes, of course.

    O-H...

  • Britt||

    I-O!

    Seriously, how has Syracuse lasted this long without Melo?

  • ||

    It's shocking. But I've got to admit, Boeheim has done a hell of a job. I think tOSU will dominate down low as long as Sully doesn't get into early foul trouble (50/50 chance) and win handily. But I've been wrong before.

    Oh, and get this: if tOSU wins, the national semifinal they are playing in should have about 10 minutes left in the second half when my wedding starts next Saturday. Talk about poor planning...

  • ||

    Eh, well since half my final four are gone and I had Florida State in the finals, my bracket is fucked anyway. So at this point I'll root for Ohio State for the sex.

  • anon||

    Dude, I really thought Florida State was going to win. They were so good...

    Then I thought UNC, until everyone got injured...

    Now I don't even care.

  • Amakudari||

    I have UNC winning it all. After yesterday against Ohio, missing Kendall Marshall shows how difficult it will be to beat Kansas. It wouldn't be as bad if his backup weren't injured, or his backup's backup, but hey.

    So barring some crazy good fortune, I'm just cheering for anyone but UK and KU for having a disproportionate number of horrible fans.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Here's an interesting profile/interview of UNC's Harrison Barnes from The Atlantic. Smart young man. Excellent baller, and budding entrepreneur.

  • Fuck Progressivism.||

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Fuck Progressivism.|3.24.12 @ 12:58PM


    That's what White Indian says; he gets lots of flack here for it.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Actually, he seems to be all for collectivism, which is a large part of progressive theory.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    You city-Statists are collectivist ones.

    "Historically, people in non-state societies are relatively autonomous and sovereign. They generate their own subsistence with little or no assistance from outside sources. They bow to no external political leaders.

    ~Elman R. Service (1975), Origins of the State and Civilization: The Process of Cultural Evolution. New York: Norton.
    * NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    http://faculty.smu.edu/rkemper.....ieties.pdf

    Nice try, libertarian loser.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Seriously?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah, unfortunately, it means it when it says it.

  • Fantasy Disruptor||

    When's the last time you quoted a college textbook here?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Who you talkin' to, stranger?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Golly. It's almost 24 hours later and Godesky is still posting away frantically on this forum.

    Can't he go outside and enjoy some of the nice weather we're having? For a "primitivist", he sure loves being indoors and in front of a computer.

    Oh, and it's irritating when a white person like himself continuously and monotonously speaks on behalf of all Native Americans. The last Native American to whom I showed Godesky's screeds thought he was completely crazy, and then upon seeing a photograph of his corpulent mass, considered him a hypocrite as well.

  • ||

    really? 24 hrs?
    WI is more than one person tag-teaming us in a deliberate attempt to sabotage this site. I looked over godeski's facebook page and such....unless I missed something, he doesnt talk about us there or anywhere in any meaningful way, so I dont believe it is him.

    I would say Reason should hunt these fuckers down, find out who they are. I bet every libertarian/conservative site would love to do a story on how progressives attempt to silence opposition.

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    Suthenboy thinks commenting on a public forum is somehow an "attempt to silence opposition."

    With a Stalinist final solution: hunt these fuckers down.

    Da, tovarisch.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Wrong analogy; Stalin's actions were violent, and resulted in millions of deaths.

    Suthenboy advocates nothing of the sort here, and you full well knew that before you typed your ignorant spiel.

  • Fantasy Disruptor||

    F1bertarians are the most violence prone people known to man.

    Always devising excuses to initiate violence without calling it that.

  • tarran||

    It's Rather... Ever since Episiarch told her that her attempts to flirt were repulsive, she's been trying to get her revenge by making Reason's fora unreadable.

    That whole 'libertarian losers are trying to censor me because they can't refute my arguments' is pure projection...

    I doubt she agrees with the primitivist bullshit she copies and pastes (I question her capacity to even understand the concepts and arguments) - it's just something she tried that got a rise out of people so she sticks with it.

    You can even get a sense of what she's doing in meatspace: last fall she started going on about Gambol Lockdown just after HBO started regularly carrying Apollo 13 for a few months. I can't wait until she sees Diane Keaton find deep meaning in the fact that "dog" spelled backwards is "God".

  • tarran||

    ...cont

    Her perception that she is winning arguments is based on her cognitive defecits - like a toddler on the football pitch, she has no clue that she is losing, what the rules are, etc. I have long suspected that to her, the person who talks the most and last is the winner of an argument since she lacks the faculties to gauge the strength of arguments - it's all just noise to her.

  • MNG||

    The whole "you can't regulate something that doesn't exist" argument boils down to "the power to regulate does not include the power to make prescriptive rules."

    But why is that so? If congress has the "power to regulate apple buying" and can make a rule saying "you can't buy green apples" then why can't it make a rule under the same power saying "you must buy a dozen apples a year?"

    you might want to say "the power to make prescriptive rules is more intrusive than the power to make prohibitory rules", but that is a point of political philosophy and not something inherent in the concept of the "power to make rules."

    Only if you read that point of political philosophy into the text, all the while ignoring that the concepts in the text normally and historically have included prescriptive powers, do you get where you want.

  • anon||

    Because our constitution is one of -negative- liberties.

    It only tells us what the individual -cannot- do, not what the individual -must- do.

    It is not written from the POV that government directs its citizenry; it is written that the citizenry directs its government.

  • MNG||

    "It only tells us what the individual -cannot- do"

    That's a nice statement of a conclusion. Do you perchance have any argument to back it up?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I smell another negative rights/positive rights argument coming...

  • MNG||

    It's not about that at all actually.

    If you want to think that governments should use their power only in proscriptive ways, then knock yourself out.

    But don't pretend the concept of "power" can only include the power to make proscriptions.

    Your confusing the concept of power with how it should be used. That's actually the fundamental mistake inherent in most of the posts on this thread.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Power corrupts".

    I hate to reiterate old sayings, but look at how true it is today.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I didn't mean, BTW, that you would use the negative vs. positive rights argument, MNG... I was preemptively saying that in case a twit like Tony shows up in this thread.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    Using the government argument, would it be okay for the state to force *everyone* to buy auto insurance - even if they cannot or do not drive an automobile of any kind?

    Or to force renters to buy homeowner policies?

    After all, it's not "fair" to make only car-drivers and homeowners pay for their respective insurance... right?

  • Appalachian Australian||

    It's certainly not fair how much cheaper renters' policies are than homeowners'.

  • Fluffy||

    The whole "you can't regulate something that doesn't exist" argument boils down to "the power to regulate does not include the power to make prescriptive rules."

    It does not include the power to make a prescriptive rule forcing you into the regulated activity.

    Because until you engage in the regulated activity, the power does not yet exist.

    If I hand you a gun and say, "You may use this gun to shoot anyone you see who is carrying a balloon," I haven't given you permission to use the gun to force people to hold balloons so you can shoot them.

  • anon||

    If I hand you a gun and say, "You may use this gun to shoot anyone you see who is carrying a balloon," I haven't given you permission to use the gun to force people to hold balloons so you can shoot them.

    awww man......

  • MNG||

    "If I hand you a gun and say, "You may use this gun to shoot anyone you see who is carrying a balloon,""

    But you've picked quite an inapt analogy there, because you've got a power with an explicit limit: the power to shoot x. The commerce clause is a broad grant of the "power to regulate." It doesn't say what kinds of regulation, other than that they be about commerce among the states.

    So you have to fall back on reading "already existing" into the concept of "power to regulate" but, it ain't in there.

  • ||

    It doesn't say what kinds of regulation, other than that they be about commerce among the states.

    Not true. It says "commerce among the states." The word "about" is what makes that statement ambiguous, and it's the one that's not there.

    Sorry, but not doing something=commerce is the same as saying virginity=sexual activity.

  • MNG||

    I don't argue that not doing something is commerce. That would be nutty.

    I'm saying that if you have "the power to make rules about commerce" you have the power to make a prescriptive rule about commerce. Telling someone they have to engage in commerce is a rule about commerce, no?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Glad you agree that not doing things =/= doing things, MNG.

    Now, if we could just get the SC to see it that way...

  • MNG||

    Like I said, I don't think it's the issue here at all. The issue is whether an explicit "power to regulate" in an area entails a power to make prescriptive rules concerning that area.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Forcing people to buy things is a bad idea, MNG.

    I hate to go all Cap'n Obvious here, but them's how it is.

  • MNG||

    I don't think its unconstitutional here, but I agree it's a bad idea. It's stupid, dangerous and immoral.

    I can't understand why anyone supported it. For decades liberals opined about evil, heartless insurance companies, and their solution to their practices is...to make everyone buy their product?

  • ||

    I can't understand why anyone supported it. For decades liberals opined about evil, heartless insurance companies, and their solution to their practices is...to make everyone buy their product?

    If you believe this, I've got some sweet-ass beachfront property for you in Nevada.

    This was a step toward destroying the system so single-payer could be instituted, pure and simple.

  • MJ||

    "For decades liberals opined about evil, heartless insurance companies, and their solution to their practices is...to make everyone buy their product?"

    It is not as if the Left's ravings about the evils of insurance companies made much sense to begin with.

  • ||

    I'm saying that if you have "the power to make rules about commerce" you have the power to make a prescriptive rule about commerce. Telling someone they have to engage in commerce is a rule about commerce, no?

    No, it isn't. Forced consumption has never been allowed in American jurisprudence. And if it has, show us a precedent.

  • MNG||

    Your argument here seems to be "this is not allowed because it's never been allowed."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And, "shouldn't be allowed" should be added to that sentiment.

  • ||

    Your argument here seems to be "this is not allowed because it's never been allowed."

    Correct. Choosing whether or not to engage in an action is a natural and unalienable right of man (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness), and those natural rights cannot be superseded by the laws of man compelling certain behaviors.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Man... Tony should've zipped over here toot-sweet as soon as you typed "natural rights", sloop.

    Maybe he's in a body cast for the next couple of months... we can only hope.

  • ||

    If the power to make rules about something includes the power to make people engage in that activity, then it is an unbounded power. Anyone doing anything can be compelled to engage in that activity and thus regulated.

    Prescriptive rules are different because they leave only one option open to an individual for the use of that particular resource (time, money, energy). Proscriptions leave an unbounded number of other options available. The individual can spend his resources in an infinite number of ways, and is forbidden from only specific ones.

    However, once you start compelling actions, you physically occupy that space and prevent the individual from doing anything else with it.

  • ||

    Thus compulsions actively prevent an infinite variety of other activities, that must be dropped in order to free up resources for the prescribed activity.
    In order to prevent any targeted activity, the government could use it's mandate power to compell people to engage in some form of interstate commerce in it's place, depriving the people of resources to engage in it. It can also regulate the mandated "commercial activity" in an uncounded way. And under the aggregation principle it could mandate an unbounded number of purely local activites, simply because forcing people to engage in them could have an aggregate effect on an interstate market - it could even create an interstate market to be used as the basis for regulation, just by forcing people to buy things across state lines.

  • MNG||

    "If the power to make rules about something includes the power to make people engage in that activity, then it is an unbounded power."

    In this case it's bounded by two things from the text: 1. it must be commercial activity and 2. it must be interstate.

    "Prescriptive rules are different because"

    Here you prove my entire point. You admit that the idea of a "prescriptive rule" is not something that doesn't make conceptual sense when you use the phrase. Certainly the concept of "a rule" does not rule out that it is might be "prescriptive."

    It's just that you think prescriptive rules are "different" and more a threat to your political values, which you explain in detail. That's nice and all, but why should your political philosophy be read into the concept?

  • ||

    But the power to compell interstate commercial activity includes the power to turn any activity into commerce and to make that commerce interstate.

    They can compell ANY activity. They just have to do so in a way that makes it an interstate commercial activity.

    Just for example, by your logic, they could force people into prostition by making them engage in an interstate sex trade. Because they would be "regulating" the interstate sex trade.
    It would be perfectly constitutional under your interpretation of the commerce clause, so long as (a) money is exchanged, making it commercial, and (b) it occurs across state lines.

    All the law would have to do is REQUIRE that all mandatory prostitution occurs across state lines.

  • MNG||

    This is what is called the "parade of horribles." But our government has all kinds of powers which can constitutionally be used to do horrible things, the Founders knew that most of them would be dealt with politically.

    And your parade would be unconstitutional btw as a violation of substantive due process (government can't do bodily invasions), among maybe other things, like the 13th Amendment, right to privacy, etc.

    What they COULD do is order everyone to purchase dildoes from willing sellers or something like that.

  • ||

    What they COULD do is order everyone to purchase dildoes from willing sellers or something like that.

    Why would the sellers have to be willing? If they can order people to buy dildos, they can certainly order people to MAKE dildos and sell them across state lines. That would be a perfectly legitimate "regulation of interstate commerce" according to your theory that regulation includes the power to mandate interstate commerce.

    I mean, seriously, we are LONG past the point where congress has been ordering people to sell products to any willing buyer. Making people BUY them adds the other half of the equation. It's a trivial step from that to making people produce things too.

  • MNG||

    "They can compell ANY activity."

    It's nice to see that you recognize that at the heart of your "inactivity/activity" argument is not something inherent in the concept of "power to regulate" but instead it's just a limiting principle without which you want to argue the "spirit of the laws" (that we have a limited federal government) would be violated.

    But you have a problem, namely two: Morrison and Lopez. In both cases something the government wanted to do was struck down, so you can't say that with a mandate there wouldn't be limits.

  • ||

    You're missing my point. Considering the power to mandate part of a power to regulate doesn't logically work.
    It would essentially be an unbounded power, since they could turn anything into an interstate commercial activity using the mandate power.

    And that doesn't just conflict with the "spirit" of the constitution, it conflicts with the letter of it being one of limited and enumerated powers.

    Perhaps prostition is an extreme example, but it could apply to absolutely any activity, horrible or not. They could mandate that all apples be sold across state lines, or they could mandate that all day care centers be owned by interstate corporations, or they could mandate that all backyard gardens use seed produced in other states.

    The power to mandate is unworkable because it allows the government to bootstrap itself into unlimited power.

  • ||

    Your argument seems to be "you have to buy this because we regulate this industry."

  • juris imprudent||

    If congress has the "power to regulate apple buying"

    Which it doesn't - that is kinda the point. What Congress can do is make rules about interstate selling of apples - but not about who shall by how many of what kind. Congress can neither forbid nor require you to buy apples.

  • MNG||

    Here is your "argument"

    1. Congress doesn't have the power to make you engage in interstate commerce ("Which it doesn't"); because 2. Congress doesn't have the power to make you engage in interstate commerce ("What Congress can do is make rules about interstate selling of apples - but not about who shall by how many of what kind"); therefore 3. Congress doesn't have the power to make you engage in interstate commerce ("Congress can neither forbid nor require you to buy apples.")

    you just restated your conclusion three times...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I think he restated it because it's important.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    It's the butterfly effect, taken to ridiculous extremes.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yeah. If a butterfly flaps its wings in New York, it causes interstate commerce in California.

    Liberalism is simple to understand if you think that way.

  • MNG||

    If you look above I think the whole Wickard "ok to regulate things that are not interstate commerce but which substantially impact it" argument is absurd.

    There is no "activity" distinction explicit or even implicit in the text of the IC clause, but there damn sure is a part that says "among the several states."

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wickard was bullshit, and IMO the court at the time knew it would fuck things up waaaay into the future... and decided to vote that way nonetheless.

  • MNG||

    Here's a neat post on Wickard that argues that this is another f*cked up area of law we can thank War Time for:

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/201.....urity.html

    War really is the health of the state...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good read, and thanks for the link.

    And, as I was saying... power corrupts.

  • ||

    So you think the court is going to overturn Wickard, and then allow purchase mandates in it's place.

    Um, yeah....

  • MNG||

    No, they are not even going to address Wickard.

    I think they should overturn Wickard, I don't think they will.

    But you're increasinly transparent in what you are aiming at and that you don't really think "power to regulate" is conceptually limited to not include prescriptions; you just think that a. allowing mandates would horribly increase federal power and 2. that is a bad thing, antithetical to your beliefs and, charitably, to the Founding vision.

    As many who argue the mandate is constitutional have pointed out, the "activity" distinction is a fig leaf for "we need SOMETHING to keep the federal government from being too powerful."

  • MNG||

    I actually agree with you Hazel that federal power is way out of whack with the Founding vision. If I were a legislator I would vote accordingly.

    But the Constitution says what it says and we're debating if this is constitutional. In that regard I think if we are going to limit federal commerce power via courts we have to stick with the two actual limitations in the text (that it has to be commercial and among the states).

  • ||

    Nobody is denying that the power to regulate includes making prescriptive rules for people already engaged in the regulated market, or as a condition of entering a market.

    However, considering it to encompass making people join the market being regulated would extend Congress's power to unlimited scope.

    You keep ingoring the point that limiting the power to "interstate" activityby overturning Wickard doesn't work anyway, since they could mandate any activity to become interstate. They could force the backyard marijana grower to buy her marijuana seeds from another state, and thus regulate her.

    Your interpretation of the word "regulate" permits Congress to bootstrap it's way to unlimited power by creating new interstate markets in anything it wants, and that it why it is unconstitutional.

  • juris imprudent||

    OK MNG, why don't you name any other good or service that Congress at any time in the entire fucking history of these United States mandated that every single citizen purchase. If there is just one precedent you can cite then I will concede that obviously Congress has the power to do this.

  • MNG||

    I addressed this way upthread. Since every federal power was used for the first time at some point this is not much of an argument.

    The Constitution contains several explicit, uncontroversial grants of power that have NEVER been used to date, but they still are there. Check out Sec. 2 of the 14th Amendment which clearly gives the feds the power to reduce representation of states that deny any of their citizens the right to vote. Even during the history of Jim Crow the feds never used this power. But the fact that they have never used it in hundreds of years doesn't mean the power isn't there.

  • MNG||

    "have never used it in hundreds"

    Well, in this case more like 150

  • juris imprudent||

    Since every federal power was used for the first time at some point this is not much of an argument.

    That is the sorriest piece of bullshit you've produced this far. But thanks for tacitly admitting that the insurance mandate is unprecedented - as in "no, Congress has never attempted a regulation of this scope before".

    Maybe you should just stick to parroting Nancy Pelosi.

  • ||

    The whole "you can't regulate something that doesn't exist" argument boils down to "the power to regulate does not include the power to make prescriptive rules."

    See what MNG did there?

    He took a near-tautology, re-phrased it in a muddled way, then argued against the muddled version.

    Typical leftist sophistry.

  • MNG||

    So does the "power to regulate" conceptually entail prescriptive rules or not?

    If rules can be prescriptive then you're darned tooting you can call the activity subject to regulation into existence with the simple rule/regulation "everyone must go do X."

  • juris imprudent||

    If chickens had gills they could breathe underwater.

    Congress was not granted the power to compel citizens to purchase any fucking thing. There is a reason you can point to any previous use of this phantasmic power.

  • ||

    A bare "power to regulate" might allow prescriptive rules as regulation of nothingness. But nothingness is not commerce, and the bit in the constitution only applies to commerce.

  • mgd||

    I don't understand why this is so difficult for you. The power to regulate a thing involves rules only for that thing. Telling someone to engage in commerce isn't regulating commerce; it's regulating non-commerce.

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    On censorship:

    The makers of Hillary: The Movie were forbidden to release their product when they wanted to release it.

    That, comes much closer to "censorship" than deleting comments on a privately-owned website.

  • ||

    There is no censorship in anarchy.

  • anon||

    Uh, yeah there is. It's called violence though.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Or making frequent references to WI's corpulence and inability to stop eating.

  • ||

    By "anarchy" I meant this chat room, of course. All this whimsical talk of censorship and banning certain emotionally disturbed interlopers is pointless. This place is the logical and inevitable product of an anything-goes, half-baked pseudo-philosophy that tries to do politics without ethics. Is anyone really surprised with the result? Why do they keep coming back for more? Libertarianism is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  • anon||

    Haha, that's brilliant.

    "Reason.com comments: A case study in how Anarchy is stupid."

  • ||

    All this whimsical talk of censorship and banning

    Those words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

  • anon||

    Libertarianism is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Also, you confuse Libertarianism with Anarchy.

    We all have morals and generally apply them. It's typically TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE that makes shit up as they go, using the ends to justify the means.

  • ||

    LOL

  • ||

    There is no censorship in anarchy.

    We all censor ourselves from saying stupid things all the time.

    Well, most of us do. Maybe you don't?

    You think waitresses will tell their stupid customers exactly what they think of them in Anarchotopia? And their managers won't fire them for it?

    This is silliness.

  • ||

    In Anarchotopia, you get to tell the boss exactly what you think of him, and he can't fire you for it...

    Really?!

    In Anarchotopia, you can say whatever you want to your company's customers, and no one can fire you for it...

    Really?!

    That's not anarchy. That's the DMV.

  • ||

    I first read this as "In Arachnophobia," and I was wondering what a shitty movie with Jeff Daniels had to do with anything...

  • Libertarian Loser Club||

    DAY 1: We Need Agricultural City-Statist Government to Protect Our Right to Censor Gamboling about Plain and Forest.

    DAY 2: Ouch, Teh Gummit is evhul! Oh, save us!

  • The Pointer-Outer||

    "censor", in your above missive, is not the word you need to get your point across.

    Then again, you *have* no point.

  • ||

    The hell he has no point; look at his head!

  • Jeffersonian||

    The Left: Bush attacked Iraq to steal their oil!!!

    Bush: Nonsense. This is nothing more than a federal action to enforce the Commerce Clause's power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations."

  • anon||

    He'd have obviously gotten a lot of democrat support utilizing that argument.

  • ||

  • Jeffersonian||

    He's not making war on Iraq, he's simply mandating commercial activity as the Founders surely intended.

  • Juice||

    4. The Individual Mandate Threatens the Foundations of Contract Law

    American contract law rests on the principle of mutual assent. If I hold a gun to your head and force you to sign a contract, no court of law will honor that document since I coerced you into signing it. Mutual assent must be present in order for a contract to be valid and binding.

    This is no argument at all.

    If this were an argument against a government mandate there would be no government at all. I'm sure that many here did not assent to just about anything that the government forces people to do. Hardly anyone assented to pay an income tax. No business owner assents to the various mandates placed on his operations. If you could make this argument stick in court and create precedent in this, goodbye coercive government. But, we all know this will never happen.

    Try harder.

  • mgd||

    You missed the point, which wasn't that everyone has to agree to every bit of coercion in which government engages. The point is that the mandate forces one party to enter into a contract with another party. Under centuries-old contract law, one party can have a contract set aside by the court if it can prove that it was under duress to enter into the contract in the first place.

    Having said that, I have to agree it's still not much of an argument. So you want to have your insurance contract set aside because you were forced to enter into it? Fine, don't pay your premiums. The insurance company will end it like that. So what? What does that do for you?

  • Mike M.||

    I'm morbidly curious now to see just how long it is that McDonald's will allow the morbidly obese primitivist to stay there and troll the site.

  • ||

    Just curious if our resident cop-apologist assclown will come on here and defend the NYPD. They've now gotten rid of 4 out of 5 cops that participated in a murder. Of the 4, two have been fired and the other two were forced to retire early, and will keep their pensions but forfeit some pay. It all went down in a Police Departmental Trial, which is what cops have to go to when they murder people, with penalties ranging from a slap on the wrist to *gasp* termination.

    But there's no double-standard, and cops are actually held to a higher standard than the rest of us.

    Despicable.

  • ||

    Who wants to see what rather really looks like?

    Caution: keep your barfbag close

  • ||

    Good to know my depikshun was close.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Too thin.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Er, those are the pictures *after* the cosmetic surgery?

  • questioning attitude||

    Did you yet this from rather's possible mis-post yesterday?

    And how do you know her IP is from Dallas?

  • ||

    You were right, it's actually Fort Worth. Yeah I saw the email in the address bar before you posted it about it. A little searching and I had her name and her personal blog.

  • questioning attitude||

    Someone calling herself Mary Stack used to post here back in '09-'10. Haven't seen much of that handle recently. I don't remember whether rather was posting here before then or whether they ever showed up together. Her handle usually linked to that sinville blog you found. It's not certain that rather and Stack are the same, perhaps rather's just a fan of hers. The content and tone of the two posters' posts is similar, with similar themes (e.g., the fixation on calling their adversaries immature boys), but there are differences. Enough to be two different people? dunno. but I don't really have the energy to review all those posts and try to figure it out.

  • ||

    Rather has said that she has a secret main blog and that she's a "writer." She has the same views and the same writing style. I think it's safe to say that they are the same person.

    Also, I believe MARY STACK's posts appear before rather ever posted.

  • ||

    I guess if it weren't for the feds, this kind of shit would go unpunished.

    I know. I know. Isolated incident of a locale not prosecuting someone for A&B. And of course, no word on what charges the fellow officers on the scene faced for holding the cuffed man so their "brother in arms" could beat him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Federal prosecutors say the victim was trying to break in to Wells’ home on Sept. 11, 2010, when the man was arrested by officers called in by the off-duty Wells.

    While escorting the man in handcuffs to a police cruiser, Wells told fellow officers he was going to make the man urinate blood and then punched him several times in the kidneys.

    Wells should have waited for him to enter the house, then it's all fair game. Although, maybe not all that fair if the guy isn't wearing bracelets during the fight. But breaking into someone's home on Patriot Day? How low can you get?

  • ||

    "Wells pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of a civilian, the Justice Department said. He entered the plea before U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Donald G. Wilkerson."

    1) Cops are also civilians -- retarded charge is retarded.

    2) One year for assault & battery? Really?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What White Idiot may look like:

    http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q.....38vYRrVFpc

  • ||

  • Caption Contest Entry||

    Wooo!!! SHACKBRAH LIFE!!!!!!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If there were ever a remake of Manos: The Hands of Fate, I'd pick Jack Black to play Torgo.

  • ||

    If there ever were a remake to Caveman, I'd get ScarJo to play Lana and Emma Stone to play Tala. Ringo would still be Atouk.

  • ||

    Threadjack:

    Like caucasian american indian, I now come to you via wi fi and my nephew's lap top from boylston street Starbucks en route to the TD Garden to see the formerly Bernie Fine tutored Orangemen in the Eastern Regional Finals.

    Me with a good buddy along with my nephew and his hottie, stoned (my nephew's contribution to the evening) and ready for some championship hoop!

  • ||

    You lucky bastard. You get to see the Buckeyes put the hurt on Syracuse.

    Wish I was there...in my new tophat that just got delivered 5 minutes ago.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Hey Sloopy. Let's go Buckeyes! I just poured a Jim Beam rocks, and I'm settling down on the sofa to watch the game.

    Also, can't wait to see you in the top hat. And the lovely bride, of course. Me and the missus are excited and looking forward to fun in Vegas.

  • ||

    Hell yeah, man. You need to e-mail and let me know what day you guys are getting in. If it's Friday, we'll need to get out together. If it's Saturday...it's a long night so make sure we all pace ourselves.

    Oh, and I hear the Vegas sidewalks can be quite cold, so you should wear long pants and a jacket.

  • TROLL ALERT||

    Oh wait, "trolling" has now been defined as WI revealing libertarian contradictions, much to their consternation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Uh, sure, pal.

  • ||

    wait... but you're not actually providing a reason as to why obamacare is wrong, other than that everyone will be required to buy insurance..

  • blah||

    "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

  • ||

  • ||

    If a police officer illegally enters a home, the residents are allowed to defend themselves. Glad I live here.

  • ||

    OT, but I don't give a fuck. My Bollman 1880's Topper just got delivered.

    The wedding attire is now complete.

  • omnibot||

    100 beans? was it made by blind nuns?

  • ||

    Please tell em you have a matching monocle.

  • ||

    Thanks to jacob and JW, we both have one for the wedding. I'd give you the link, but the spam filter hates amazon for some reason.

  • A Serious Man||

    Personally I think a cane made from rainforest wood is a more essential accessory. The price factors in the cost of burying those pygmies.

  • ||

    Does anyone think rather has a touch of the Down's?

    Because that would explain alot.

  • ||

    Did you catch this bit, heller?

    I think genetics is your best friend. My grandmother was Flemish, and my great-grandmother a full-blooded Nez Perce Indian.

    PWND

    What a stupid, stupid, stupid whore.

  • A Serious Man||

    Is that really her?

  • ||

    Without question. Read and compare to how she writes as rather.

  • ||

    Here's the post: http://reason.com/archives/201.....nt_2935870

    Her name is Mary Stack. Sugarfree found old, pre-rather posts on Reason under the name MARY STACK. They reflect rather's writing style and interests:

    http://reason.com/search?cx=00.....&sa=Search

  • ||

    Representative sample:

    Mary STACK|11.28.09 @ 6:51PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Listen, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Btw, what is the deal about being "paragon of mental health"? Crazy is more conducive to writing.

    reply to this

    Thanks for telling us your name, Mary!

  • ||

    Oh yeah, it is definitely her.

  • A Serious Man||

    Wow, this is like curing a plague that has been infesting this site for I don't know how long. Fantastic.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Finding out WI's true identity hasn't done diddly squat to rid us of the cancer of his posts.

  • ||

    White Indian is rather is Mary Stack, dude. She confirms that she's not Goesky above.

    Mike M.|3.24.12 @ 12:57PM|#|show direct|ignore
    I see that diabetes-face has got himself a new IP address. He's probably using the free Wi-Fi at McDonald's while shoveling four or five Big Macs into his fat belly.

    reply to this
    Libertarian Loser Club|3.24.12 @ 1:03PM|#|show direct|ignore
    Run out of effective arguments, so you're going to obsess about the body of one of the folks I reference?
  • questioning attitude||

    BTW, can anyone explain how she claims to know people's IP addresses?

  • ||

    She doesn't know IP addresses, she threatens to sue Reason to get our IP addresses.

    And you are right, it's not about what he looks like, it's about the fact she has been harassing the members of this blog both on and off the board.

    She's done her best to turn this place into a reflection of her own petty, vile and twisted soul.

  • Appalachian Australian||

    Darn, if I'd known that, I'd be mocking the horrible Botox job.

  • questioning attitude||

    The ugliest part of "rather" is the meanness of spirit, and crazy focus on insulting and damaging others here. Her personal appearance is immaterial to this. She has done and said enough awful things here to earn our revulsion. Whether she's ugly or supermodel hot doesn't matter a bit.

    I'd just like to urge people to stay away from that topic. It can't do any good.

  • db||

    Gotta agree here. Rudeness about personal appearance is pointless here. If rather really is Stack, the best way is to take the high ground and focus on her words and actions. I'm sort of curious why Stack would want to take on this alternate personality and do what rather has done to fuck this place up.

  • questioning attitude||

    I seem to remember a while back, people were drawing the "Mary STACK" = "rather" connection, maybe in 2010, but there wasn't proof. Could this have been a setup by a clever spoofer?

  • ||

    Could this have been a setup by a clever spoofer?

    rather isn't clever, so no.

  • Rob||

    That's quite a revelation, Heller. Rectal Stack; that name has a nice ring to it!

  • questioning attitude||

    But a spoofer would not have actually been rather, therefor could be clever. You have to take into account the possibility that either the true personality behind rather is attempting to mislead and troll folks here in a new and interesting ways, or that someine else is having fun at your expense.

  • ||

    So, we have a new images of the perp.

    Could new webcomics courtesy of Urkobold be far behind?

  • louiesjacob12||

    not i think stroke treatment

  • Mr. Saveloy||

    He denies being Godesky too, but there is a lot of "White Indian" on the net (at one point WI talked about when he used to be on Free Republic, for instance). That's a lot of backstory for Rather/Stack to set up just for her to disrupt these pages.

    When an argument arises WI usually is able to make a post that is on point (never mind that the point is absurd). That points to true believer, which points to Godesky (or one of his fanbois). Godesky works in IT-which would mean he is always on the computer, which would allow him to spend time here.

  • Mr. Saveloy||

    There's any easy way for Reason to resolve this of course. Just tell us the general location of WI's posts. They don't have to give us the actual IP address, just tell us Texas or Pennsylvania, which should help us eliminate one or both of the suspects.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I've read that creeps like Ted Bundy, Henry Lee Lucas, John Wayne Gacy, etc. are so disturbed by their crimes that they want to be captured. That is why they leave distinctive clues, or correspond with law enforcement. I think we have a similar phenomenon here with rather.

  • ||

    No, it's just fitting that the stupidest griefer troll we've ever had outed herself by being unbelievably stupid. It almost makes one believe in karma.

    The botox treatment is just the cherry on top. Hey Mary, you still look like a mongoloid, so you might want to try something else.

    Also, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • tarran||

    Epi, you missed out... if you'd accepted her offer, you'd have been able to stroke those magnificent cheekbones!

  • ||

    I hope somebody doesn't start a site, shit mary stack says dot com, or something. Featuring an archive documenting all the horrible stuff she's said to people over the years.

    Because that would be wrong.

  • ||

    I mean, seriously, the exact motivation for pure trolls has always been ambiguous.

    We've had lonewackos and stuff here, where they're mostly about pushing their own agenda. I can understand a DONDEROOOOOOOO! since he had his own pet cause, too.

    But a pure troll? Someone who tries to disrupt a site--for no apparent reason? Nobody knows why someone would do that...

    But even that makes sense when compared to the archiving. Why would she archive the comments of people she apparently hates? Can somebody even speculate as to why someone would do that?

    But I do think that if some ingenious person did something spectacular like collect all her vile comments and amazingly archive them on a phenomenal website associated with her real name?

    That it would be wrong.

  • ||

    No, it's just fitting that the stupidest griefer troll we've ever had outed herself by being unbelievably stupid. It almost makes one believe in karma.

    It's like George W. Bush accidentally waterboarding himself.

  • questioning attitude||

    The earliest occurrence of "rctlfy.wordpress.com" here appears to be around August 5, 2010. "MARY STACK" was active from about October 1 2009 - December 23 2009.

  • ||

    OT: I have been commuting via ferry for 15 years and for the first time today I saw a regular open-carrying. Awesome.

  • ||

    Do you two ride in the carpool lane?

    /rimshot

  • ||

    I'm a walk on passenger.

  • ||

    **whoosh**

  • ||

    COOTER IS SURE GONNA MISS PRETTY MISS RECTAL.

    TO BAD SHE GOT TO GO

  • rather not||

    Now who's being OCD

  • ||

    Louisville has some serious guts.

  • Libertarian Destroyers||

    "Consistently, my disagreements have been rooted in his Libertarian orthodoxy, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Given that I can no longer support the Pennsylvania Libertarian Party because of its single-minded crusade to destroy my home, I did not expect to find much common ground with MacDonald’s book on the forest."

    The Agony of an American Wilderness
    by Jason Godesky | 17 January 2007
    http://rewild.info/anthropik/2.....index.html

    Why are libertarians so anti-life?

  • ||

  • ||

    Hahahahaha. The Gay-tors are gonna lose. Thank fuck.

  • rather not||

    so who is WI

  • BakedPenguin||

    Gee, Mary, maybe the same person who likes to use the phrase Cargo Cult Science, and unlike John, doesn't use it correctly. Fuck off already, you worthless piece of waste.

  • rather not||

    nuh-uh

  • ||

    "rather not" is not "rather" and neither are "White Indian."

  • BakedPenguin||

    Perhaps "rather not" isn't. I still think rectal / Mary Stack is WI. Unless you think 2 separate insane griefers decided independently to try to fuck up H&R.

  • ||

    I'm out. Enjoy the Buckeyes game, reasonoids.

    O-H...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I-O !!!

    Go Buckeyes!

  • ||

    Let's celebrate Mary Stack being a fucking retard with some metal. Obviously.

  • ||

    I think I deserve to choose the celebratory song considering I outed her.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvi4iA3PnKE

  • ||

    Yeah, but the Pixies aren't really good music for celebrating to. They're more good for...um....

    ....

    Uh, they're great music for, uh...

    ...

    uh...

  • ||

    Metal is crap. All of it.

  • ||

    But yes, excellent work, you degenerate.

    So how about that older daughter of hers, huh? Nice.

  • ||

    She must be adopted. Now, the younger one who looks like Corky from Life Goes On...that's definitely hers.

  • rather not||

    wait.

    it spawned?

  • ||

    You shouldn't insult people by comparing them to the disabled, dude. Chris Burke would be really hurt.

  • ||

    Well, she also looks like this guy.

  • Jerryskids||

    If these are the best 4 arguments we can come up with, say hello to the new Constitutional Obamacare mandate. Can't wait for the granola and tofu and 100 crunches every morning mandate.

    1. The Constitution says......whatever 1 President and 5 Supremos and 535 legislators says it says.

    3. "Unbounded and Unprincipled Assertion of Federal Power". Where have you been for the last 150 years?

    3. "No precedent". So nothing should ever be done for the first time?

    4. "Right of Contract". The government requires you to do business with private companies under a wide variety of cases.

    It would be nice to think we still lived under a government limited by the Constitution, but I don't see much evidence for that.

  • ||

    The government requires you to do business with private companies under a wide variety of cases.

    Such as?

    I hope you're not referring to laws requiring that you buy X if you want to do Y. That's not the same as saying you have to buy X.

  • ||

    Here is the single reason why the Supreme Court will uphold ObamaCare: like the members of Congress, the elected and appointed members of the Executive Branch and all the petty bureaucrats and dime-store ward heelers around the nation in local and state governments are members of that oligarchy which rules us all. Because they are wise, noble and all-knowing, much beyond the understanding of fools such as you and I. No matter what sophisty is written as the majority opinion', no matter what blather is reported in the media, no matter what howls of outrage will be heard around the nation, it will be upheld and solely because it benefits our wise, benevolent and ethical rulers.

  • ||

    This is like the worst chat room ever.

  • ||

    Mary Stack is a cunt

  • ||

    I can't figure out why I care about looks all of a sudden. I once heard Judge Judy interviewed, and she spoke of how her dad told her constantly: beauty fades, and dumb is forever.

    Yes, Mary, your stupidity is forever. And so is looking like a mongoloid. Botox can't remove an extra chromosome.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • juris imprudent||

    If some people stopped shitting in the living room the level of conversation might just rise above the stench.

  • ||

    Nah, this really is like one of the greatest threads ever.

    There's so much goin' on in this thread; people will be mining it for years.

    This thread should have it's own name.

  • ||

    "Why even bother with the word "interstate"?"

    Because it's a limitation on the kinds of commerce they can make rules about, including the rule to engage in it.

    You mean you think SCOTUS is going to overturn the "substantial effects" and "aggregation" doctrines, to come up with a new limiting principle that allows purchase mandates?

    Really?

    Because I don't see how you get a limiting principle based on the "interstateness" of a commercial activity without tossing out aggregation and sustantial effects.

  • ||

    End wall street cherry picking of the best health risks by granting Equal Tax Treatment to individual health insurance purchases.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7LGTE40JTQ

  • ||

    End wall street cherry picking of the best health risks by granting Equal Tax Treatment to individual health insurance purchases.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7LGTE40JTQ

  • EasyEight||

    Wonder how Breyer is gonna vote? A guy with a machete "randomly" robbed him and his family recently...

  • Majestic One||

    The best argument of them all is history and facts of regulating commerce:

    http://www.federalistblog.us/2.....regulated/

  • ||

    Veterans need to start speaking with a unified voice against this kind of govt over reach. Does anyone know of such a group, cuz I've had it with this shit. I didn't wear the uniform to watch it degrade into this!

  • ||

    Time was killed, no minds were changed.

  • ||

    I'm not sure why I'm bothering to argue with MNG and his patently absurd notion that the power to regulate includes the power to compell people to participate in the activity being regulated.

    It's so unworkable and would create so many problems in implementation and interpretation that no court oberserver would ever take it seriously.

    Much less his argument the court should overturn Wickard and "substatial effects" and make "interstateness" the new limiting principle.

    Gahhh. Anyone with half a brain is going to look at that argument and recoil in horror.

  • BakedPenguin||

    He's just trolling on this, Hazel. John's not here, so he wants someone else to play with.

  • ||

    John's not here, so he wants someone else to play with
    throw his stick.

  • ||

    The upside is he sort of makes a convenient foil for making the mandate's supporters look like dangerous lunatics.

  • ||

    Anyone who calls the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare" identifies themselves as a political hack. If anything it should be called Romneycare. It was the Heritage Foundation which brought the idea of the personal mandate into public awareness in 1989 and it was hailed by conservatives at the time as a matter of personal responsibility. Why have we not been hearing the outcry all these years? Could it be that it has nothing to to with the merits but about Obama derangement syndrome?

    Additionally, everyone will need healthcare at some point in their lives and those who don't have insurance will put the burden on the rest of us taxpayers when they need care. This financial (economic) burden affects everyone both intra and interstate-wise. The federal government should be involved. I personally don't want to pay for the slackers who will be in the emergency room without insurance.

  • ||

    Everybody who objects to calling it ObamaCare obviously thinks it's a disgusting piece of unpopular legislation, and they're afraid people will associate it with their favorite politician, that jackass Obama.

    Anyone who calls it the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a political hack. Why would anyone call it that when something short and sweet works just as well?

    Oh, and I don't give a shit what the Heritage Foundation says about anything. And as far as Romney's concerned, why would we call it RomneyCare when what he did only applies to Massachusetts?

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ObamaCare applies to me. RomneyCare doesn't. Why would I blame Romney for what Obama did to me?

    We're all supposed to change how we say things so it doesn't reflect as poorly on your favorite politician--and everyone else is a hack?

    Classic projection.

  • ||

    I was under the impression that Obama was embracing the term Obamacare.

  • ||

    I was under the impression that Obama was embracing the term Obamacare.

    Well then he must be a political hack!

  • MLB Cap||

    Good post.You did a good work,and offer more effective imformation for us!Thank you.
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  • John Mellor||

    As a moderate, it's nice to read a thoughtful, articulate take on this issue, instead of the usual fanatical, ridiculous and often unfounded rambling it evokes, as evident in this Comment Board. To the author, well done. To the majority of you people replying, take a deep breath and relax.

  • ||

    If we're going to have a national health care program, then someone's going to have to pay for it. If we're not going to have a national health care plan, then we're going to have millions of people without adequate health care---unless each state enacts a health care plan as equal to or better than the Affordable Care Act (and in that case it's still going to have to be paid for by something like a state-wide individual mandate).

    This entire argument stands on the antiquated notion of states' rights. Since we've moved into the 21st century, we're going to have to revisit this 18th century idea---especially when it concerns an issue primarily designed for the good of all Americans.

  • ConservativeRepublican||

    You have got to be kidding me. The author has very little insight on the workings SCOTUS. The SCOTUS will hear anything that pleases its fancy. Nancy Pelosi was correct. Try Nix V Hedden. SCOTUS ruled that tomatoes should be classified as vegetables, or Toy Biz Vs the US: Court ruled that action figures were toys and not dolls. Just because the Court wants to hear the case has no bearing on its constitutionality or lack thereof - plain boredom might be a factor.

  • ||

    How about the argument that 'regulate' meant, in the Framers' time, to make regular, i.e., to make sure that commerce occurs without arbitrary restraint by the states? Of course to concede that point would be to overturn a century or more of bad case law.

    The sad fact of the matter is that, under contemporary reasoning, Congress can do anything it wants, which turns the whole concept of federalism (along with explicit grants of power to the federal government) on its head.

  • Edwin||

    MNG, you're stance on inactivity is provably wrong with a simple logical/linguistic comparison

    Local government bodies all over the place are empowered to regulate all kinds of things. I have to deal with construction departments in townships all the time with permits, inspectors, etc. If the construction department is by law empowered to "regulate" the construction process, does that mean they can force me to construct something where there was nothing? Of course not, that's not what that phraseology means. WHEN I DO start construction something, they can regulate the process. But COMPELLING me to construct something in the first place is outside the realm of the phrase "regulate construction".

    It's pretty simple, man

  • ||

    This article is titled wrong. Should be "The 4 Best Legal Arguments Against The Individual Mandate"

  • finechen||

    mean they can force me to construct something where there was nothing web application developer

  • jason||

    This health care program by the obama government is under the eyes of laws, now seniors law experienced person taking the review of it.

  • emily12||

    New Era Hats
    "it is released by http://www.hatbrandshop.com/ 2012.06.015"

  • ||

    You have got to be kidding me. The author has very little insight on the workings SCOTUS -- stem cell treatment ms treatment -- I couldn't agree more

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