Obamacare finally makes it to the Supreme Court
This is a day which many–if not most–Americans have been waiting for for quite awhile now. Just a few days after we celebrated the second anniversary of the passing of Obamacare–curiously an anniversary Barack Obama chose to all but ignore–which, as John at Sentry Journal pointed out here, was ironic for having been signed into law on the very day that Patrick Henry gave his infamous ‘give me liberty, or give me death’ speech all those years ago, the controversial law has finally made it to the Supreme Court.
Patrick Henry offered a choice, liberty or death, and was quite clear on which path he would rather follow. New Hampshire’s Revolutionary War hero General John Stark also coined a famous phrase, in fact part of it is now the state motto, when he stated “live free or die: death is not the worst of all evils.” It is clear that many of our founders, and those who fought for freedom felt that liberty was worth dying for.
Liberty, that is what is at stake here, (and no I am not calling for violent revolution or fighting in the streets, just simply pointing out how important individual liberty is and what it meant to the people who were willing to put their lives on the line to secure it), and liberty is the side we hope the Supreme Court will come down on with their decision, expected sometime in June.
If the healthcare mandate is allowed to stand, and if Obamacare is upheld, the government will continue to extend its hand into the healthcare system; for once a power is granted to the government it only expands, it never contracts. If the government can force a person to buy healthcare under the premise that it will save the people money in the long run, is it too much of a stretch to think the government could start regulating salt, sugar, or fat intake? After all, bad eating habits also drive up the cost of healthcare, so could this not be used as a premise to regulate the diet of the American people as a legitimate way to regulate healthcare costs? And if so, where does it go from there? States are already trying to influence the masses through taxes on these items, could it soon be done through federal dictate?
As Justice Kennedy stated earlier today, Obamacarem “changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way,” and if changing the relationship between the government and the people in a fundamental way is not an issue of liberty, and if this is not changing the fabric of the government as defined in the constitution, I am afraid I do not know what is. This fundamental change in the the relationship between the people and the government could very well lead to the scenario I laid out above, in fact I believe it is the likely outcome.
While drafting the constitution the founders relied heavily on the work of Montesquieu, adapting many of his tenants of the separation of powers, and at one point Montesquieu wrote about lawmakers trying to change the “mores and manners” of a nation through law:
“When one wants to change the mores and manners, one must not change them by laws, as this would appear to be too tyrannical.”
Is that not what Obamacare, and the healthcare mandates, set out to do? If Justice Kennedy is correct that the fundamental relationship between the government and the people will be changed if the government is allowed to dictate to the people which products they can and must buy as a contingency for being a citizen of the United States, then yes, this is a sharp deviation from the original intent of the constitution, and an attempt to change through laws the mores and manners of the country.
The constitution is the foundation of this country, and if the government is altering the fundamental relationship between the government and the people then the government is altering the constitution. The foundation of the country and the constitution are not only inseparable, they are one in the same, so when Barack Obama promised to fundamentally change America he was in essence promising to remove us from our constitutional roots and usher in a new age.
The early signs in this hearing are encouraging as Barack Obama’s Solicitor General stumbles around trying to explain that a tax is not a tax when it is a penalty, and that a penalty is not a penalty when it is a tax, and a tax is a tax when it is a tax, and a penalty is a penalty when it is a penalty while trying to walk a tightrope around the very issue at hand in Obamacare challenge.
We have one more day of testimony tomorrow as our liberty hangs in the balance and in June we will learn what type of future is in store for America. Will it be liberty, or will it be death for the republic as we know it?