23 October 2009

speaker pelosi says that the commerce clause makes mandatory health care constitutional

cns news asked house speaker nancy pelosi to explain how the federal government can mandate everyone to purchase health care insurance and it be constitutional. cns news says that "pelosi dismissed the question by saying: 'are you serious? are you serious?'" before moving on to some other question.

later the speakers spokeswoman, nadeam elshami, answered some of cns news follow up questions by sending them a copy of one of the speaker's press releases from 16 september 2009 in which the speaker explained how the congress subject to article one section eight clause three of the constitution may mandate health care:

[T]he Constitution gives Congress broad power to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce. Congress has used this authority to regulate many aspects of American life, from labor relations to education to health care to agricultural production. Since virtually every aspect of the heath care system has an effect on interstate commerce, the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited.
then she goes on to give two supreme court cases as examples: katzenbach v. mcclung, 379 u.s. 294 (1964) -- the famous ollie's barbecue discrimination case out of alabama and gonzales v. raich, 545 u.s. 1 (2005) a medicinal marijuana case from california.

"it is hardly lack of due process for the government to regulate that which it subsidizes."
u.s. supreme court in wickard v filburn

her press release didnt mention wickard v filburn -- but it didnt have to - both of the cases she did cite do. they relied on wickard as a justification for their own bad judgment.

wickard v filburn came about in 1942 through a fraudulent interpretation of the commerce clause. the court reasoned that everything you do affects interstate commerce in some way or another and thus subject to federal jurisdiction.

the court in gonzales did point out that congress could always change the law. which is what the states must demand congress do in the case of wickard. overturn it by legislation if necessary and repudiate that way of thinking.

as the speaker pointed out: "the power of congress to regulate [in this instance] health care [or anything else] is essentially unlimited."