"... the reason (the individual mandate) is so concerning is that it requires the individual to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts our tradition, our law, has been that you don't have the duty to rescue someone if that person is in danger ..." Justice Kennedy
Justice Kennedy echoes a common refrain that the individual mandate is unconstitutional because if requires people to do something that they would be otherwise not inclined to do ... and that this is "unprecedented."
The easy retort to this line of thought is that there is nothing in the constitution prohibiting "unprecedented" government acts. But I'm going to offer another counter I haven't seem ... it's not unprecedented to require individuals to do something they'd rather not do. Let share something that happened to me when I was 18 years old.
I signed a little peice of paper with the words "Selective Service" printed on the top. In case you didn't know, all 18 year old males are required ("mandated") to register for the draft. The purpose of this is that, in the event of a national emergency (or if old men in Washington just feel like fighting a war) I get to put my life on line for my government. This is perfectly constitutional.
In other words, with all due respect Justice Kenedy, we do have a tradition of requiring people to "rescue" other people if the government demands it. I could be required to do that just that, even though I'm really not inclined to die.
I have a really hard time seeing the mandate to carry insurance as an unconstitutional, unprecedented breach of freedom ... where requiring me to risk me life in war in foreign lands is a perfectly reasonable request from the government.
So please, Justice Kennedy, TEA Partiers, comseratives, and old people who oppose access to health care for the young ... get a fucking clue.