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View Diary: Big story: HCR ruled unconstitutional. Little story: 14 judges disagree. (179 comments)

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  •  If an "official government-granted privilege" (0+ / 0-)

    were the test of an Equal Protection violation, then progressives sure would be in trouble, wouldn't we?

    As for the government not being able to get involved in how you choose to spend your money, the individual economic rights doctrine was tried and failed early last century -- and it slowed a lot of New Deal legislation in the process.

    •  perhaps, perhaps not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      After all, the Supreme Court invalidated LOTS of the New Deal as unconstitutional--until FDR played hardball and threatened to pack the court in his favor.

      But I notice no one answered my questions:  If the US were to pass a law tomorrow requiring everyone in the US to buy a new car or pay a fine, would that, in your view, be constitutional?

      How about if Dubya had passed a law mandating everyone in the US to buy a handgun (for "protection from terrorists).  Would that, in your view, be consitutional?

      •  Depends. (0+ / 0-)

        Does Congress have a rational basis for believing that those activities, in the aggregate, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce?  The answer to that question determines the law's constitutionality under the Commerce Clause.

        What you're trying to do is create unpopular hypotheticals in order to show that something is unconstitutional.  You can take anything to such an extreme; that doesn't mean it's outside Congress's power.  I think a 99% flat rate income tax would be absurd, but that doesn't mean that Congress doesn't have the power to issue income taxes.  I think that opening five new post offices in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska would be absurd, but that doesn't mean that Congress doesn't have the power to establish post offices.  Political reasons for opposing a law are different from the constitutional reasons for opposing it.

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