Antonin Scalia

87 Percent of Americans Agree With Conservative Supreme Court Justices on Broccoli Mandate

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The Associated Press reports:  

Conservative justices on Tuesday sharply questioned whether the government can force Americans to buy health insurance. In oral arguments over the new health care law passed by Congress in 2010, justices wondered if the law could set precedent allowing Congress to require Americans to buy other products, such as cell phones, burial insurance, gym memberships and broccoli.

"If the government can do that, what else can it do?" asked Justice Antonin Scalia, referring to the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He then questioned whether Congress could also require individuals to buy vegetables, such as broccoli.

The recent national Reason-Rupe poll of 1200 adults released yesterday shows 87 percent of Americans believe it is unconstitutional for Congress to mandate that you buy broccoli. Eight percent think Congress can constitutionally force you to buy vegetables.

A lower percent, but still a clear majority (62 percent) believe it is unconstitutional for Congress to require Americans to buy health insurance, and a 51 percent do not  believe Congress should require individuals to buy health insurance.

 

Proponents of the law disagree vegetable mandates logically follow from a health insurance mandate. The Obama administration's lawyer Donald Verrilli responded to Justice Scalia: "No, that's quite different" because participation in vegetable market is not unpredictable and involuntary.

Full poll results found here.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted March 10th-20th of both mobile and landline phones, 1200 adults, margin of error +/- 3 percent. Columns may not add up to 100 percent due to rounding. Full methodology can be found here

Emily Ekins is the director of polling for Reason Foundation where she leads the Reason-Rupe public opinion research project, launched in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @emilyekins.

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  1. Is it OK or not to threaten people in this chat room? To wit:

    John|3.27.12 @ 10:31AM|#
    I know your name and address Mary…

    Are implied threats of violence kosher?

    Thx.

    1. I think he just wanted to have coffee with you.

    2. Everyone who read the thread knows your name and address. Hell, I probably know which grocery stores you go to. I don’t know whether you choose the CVS or Walgreens on Hulen, though.

      Is that a threat?

      1. No, that is not a threat because no harm is threatened.

        1. I think you mean “threaded”.

    3. Would you rather live in Texas or Gaza?

      1. So implied threats are OK then?
        Good to know. Thx.

      2. PS
        I know where you live, Mary.

  2. “If the government can do that, what else can it do?” asked Justice Antonin Scalia, referring to the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He then questioned whether Congress could also require individuals to buy vegetables, such as broccoli.
    _
    spurious since one may grow it.

    1. Yes, and Roscoe Filburn could grow wheat, so what’s your point?

      1. I have no point, I’m a fucking retard.

      2. A farmer, Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat for on-farm consumption. The U.S. government had established limits on wheat production based on acreage owned by a farmer, in order to drive up wheat prices during the Great Depression, and Filburn was growing more than the limits permitted. Filburn was ordered to destroy his crops and pay a fine, even though he was producing the excess wheat for his own use and had no intention of selling it.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn
        _
        you left out the ag dept quota was exceeded (established by farmer plebiscite) despite being advised before planting.

        ergo,i believe this to be a false analogy.

        1. That is ok, because the gov.’t wanted to do it.

          It makes perfect sense to drive up prices when people are going hungry. You know, in the name of the greater good.

          This shit is unbelievable.

          1. not on point, tho ag price supports mainly effects red states so have at it.
            >the point is one may grow, hunt, or fish for food unlike healthcare so there is no analogy.

            1. You can’t refuse health care? You can’t die quickly and not need it? You can’t believe in home remedies? You can’t be a doctor and heal thyself?

              Try harder.

              1. Try harder.

                That’s as good as it gets – orrin is an idiot.

            2. 35,000 people die in car accidents every year. They won’t be needing health insurance.

              1. Better tax ’em quick.

          2. Now, I feel les threated by an over-powerful government. Our government can only limit our purchases of health insurance.

    2. “spurious since one may grow it.”

      Uh, yeah, and why is purple?
      Did you actually think there was a logical connection between the quote and your response?

      1. ^sure is
        see above
        >it tries moar harderz

    3. “If the government can do that, what else can it do?” asked Justice Antonin Scalia, referring to the individual mandate portion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He then questioned whether Congress could also require individuals to buy vegetables, such as broccoli.

      1. I meant to say (before I was so rudely interrupted by this blankety-blank keyboard and squirrelly website): Wasn’t that question pretty much answered about a hundred years ago when SCOTUS decided the government could force some individuals to go out and risk life and limb to defend other individuals – even to defend individuals of another country?

  3. The Obama administration’s lawyer Donald Verrilli responded to Justice Scalia: “No, that’s quite different” because participation in vegetable market is not unpredictable and involuntary.

    Ah, yes, the preposterously stupid “but healthcare is different” defense, which relies on drawing the relevant market broadly (i.e., “healthcare”) when it’s convenient for the government, but narrowly (i.e., “vegetables”, or “broccoli”, rather than “food”) when it’s inconvenient for the government.

  4. …a clear majority (62 percent) believe it is unconstitutional for Congress to require Americans to buy health insurance…51 percent do not believe Congress should require individuals to buy health insurance.

    Assuming a subset in the results, who are the 11% who think it is unconstitutional but ok if congress demands it?

    1. Damn, I was just gonna say that! It must be the same pinkos who support ObamaCare even if it means rationed care.

      1. All care is rationed (not that that’s an argument for Obama care).

        1. Market mechanisms, sure, but we’re talking about a more narrow definition here.

    2. We are the 11%!

    3. I have always wished that pollsters would ask follow-up questions about stuff like that. I’ve noticed a similar thing when people are asked about random warrantless street searches or similar things — the percentage of people who say they support the policy is 10% to 20% higher than the percentage of people who say they think the policy is “effective” at stopping crime/terrorism. So there is some noticeable fraction of the public that supports the policy even though they don’t think it works. Why?!?

      1. me not thik 2 gud – wut question?

    4. who are the 11% who think it is unconstitutional but ok if congress demands it?

      present!

  5. Eight percent think Congress can constitutionally force you to buy vegetables.

    Four percent think Congress can constitutionally force you to buy meat.

    Two percent think Congress can constitutionally force you to buy pornography.

    One percent think Congress can constitutionally force you to buy the Moon.

    1. The moon would be a good place to gambol.

      And we would all be partners since no one owns it but everyone owns it. Ideal really.

      Except for the lack of water and oxygen.

  6. A lower percent, but still a clear majority (62 percent) believe it is unconstitutional for Congress to require Americans to buy health insurance, and a 51 percent do not believe Congress should require individuals to buy health insurance.

    So that means that 11% of Americans think that it’s unconstitutional for Congress to compel purchases of health insurance, but should do it anyway?

  7. We anxiously await the Solar Panel Mandate.

    You know, for global warming.

  8. The Cocksucker Proxy?

  9. So let’s get rid of the Supreme Court and go with public opinion polls.

    1. When you can pretty much guarantee that the justices will side with whichever team put them in their seat regardless of the issue, you almost might as well get rid of them. Let’s just go to pulling court decisions from a hat.

      1. Actually SIS, I have been pleasantly shocked at how many 9-0 decisions have come down against teamobama, and that is with two of his appointees on the bench.

        We may (pleasepleaseplease) be similarly surprised at how this vote comes out.

        1. I doubt we’ll you’ll see Sotomayor vote against the mandate. That’s pretty much a given.

    2. People started out without any type of supreme court. Today, that is called “common law”.

  10. I think the government should force everyone to buy a gun. Think of the jobs and the precipitous drop in crime that would follow. THINKOFTHECHILDREN!

    1. “provide for the common defense”

    2. Or wait until President Santorum makes everyone in America buy a bible and a copy of an approved American history book.

      Knowledge of the bible and American history are vital to civic life.

      1. Or wait until President Santorum makes everyone in America buy a bible and a copy of an approved American history book.

        And at the same time knockin down all them deep-space observatories. You know, cuz the earth is flat and there ain’t no dadgum moon critters out there, cuz the Bible don’t say nuthin about no moon critters.

        1. Would that be any worse than tearing down all of the coal power plants because some guy in a lab coat said they caused global warming?

        2. Would that be any worse than tearing down all of the coal power plants because some guy in a lab coat said they caused global warming?

          1. Would that be any worse than tearing down all of the coal power plants because some guy in a lab coat said they caused global warming

            It would be slightly less bad. Scientific curiosity about the origins of the universe – important though it is – isn’t as pressing a need as providing energy. At least to me. Ask a particle theorist, and you might get a different answer.

        3. The Flat Earth Society are AGW advocates too. You people are so funny.

          1. The Flat Earth Society are AGW advocates too. You people are so funny

            Flat-earthers believing in something called global warming . . . not sure what to make of that.

    3. “provide for the common defense”

      1. Article I, create an army and navy. Necessary and proper clause bitches.

  11. “If the government can do that, what else can it do?”

    A question better asked by the Wickard Court.

    But, better late than never.

    The Obama administration’s lawyer Donald Verrilli responded to Justice Scalia: “No, that’s quite different” because participation in vegetable market is not unpredictable and involuntary.

    So weak. I wasn’t aware there was an “unpredictable and involuntary” sub-clause to the Commerce Clause.

    And, of course, wrong on the facts: much participation in the health care market is, in fact, quite voluntary and predictable.

    1. In my younger days I went a decade without health insurance and never once needed it.

      1. Didn’t get health insurance until I was almost 33. Never had any problems.

        1. It occurs to me that 100% of Americans are going to die (sorry, “participate in the death care industry”.) So why isn’t the government mandating we all purchase burial/cremation insurance? Is the mortuary lobby not big enough?

          1. with the death panels, their influence can only grow.

          2. Hey, don’t give them anymore ideas!

      2. I’m in my 50’s with no insurance.

        Who are these people that feel the need to try to live forever? Death is mandatory, and that’s all that should be mandatory.

        Anybody obsessed with cheating death should be killed, as an example to us all.

    2. There are definitely vegetables where my participation in the market is unpredictable and involuntary…take brussels sprouts, for example.

    3. If you define “healthcare” broadly enough, then he’s right — virtually everyone at some point in their lives will consume some form of “healthcare”, be it ever so mundane as buying a bottle of aspirin or a box of bandaids at the pharmacy.

      But Obamacare doesn’t presume to regulate the market for healthcare at that level. It regulates the market for health insurance, consumption of which is absolutely voluntary and predictable.

  12. “We the People give the federal government the right to do anything necessary and proper to promote the general welfare.”

    Now where in the Constitution does it forbid mandating brocolli consumption, brushing one’s teeth three times a day,
    and outlawing salty, sugary or otherwise tasty foods????

  13. Maybe I’m missing something, but I can grasp the gov’t opinion that the vegetable market is different, since it appears Scalia posited as a stand alone issue. A better analogy would be that unhealthy eating disproportionately affects healthcare premiums and THEN mandating the purchase of broccoli to offset the public impact.

    Hell – they’ve already used a similar argument to toss out birth control candy and the potential is limitless…smog = buy a volt, mandatory running, etc

  14. 8% of Americans think the government can force feed you broccoli?

  15. Are you thinking what we’re thinking?

  16. I wonder why the last paragraph uses “+/-” rather than “?”.

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