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    PA Federal Court Strikes Obamacare Mandate

    PA Federal Court Strikes Obamacare Mandate

    Judge Christopher C. Conner of the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania has stricken the Obamacare mandatge in a Memorandum and Order issued today (h/t Fuzzy via Gateway Pundit), as reported by Bloomberg:

    The insurance-buying mandate in President Barack Obama’s health-care reform legislation is unconstitutional, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled.

    U.S. District Judge Christopher C. Conner in Harrisburg today said Congress exceeded its powers under the federal constitution when it included in the act Obama signed into law last year a provision requiring almost all Americans to have medical insurance starting in 2014.

    “The federal government,” Conner said, “is one of limited enumerated powers, and Congress’s efforts to remedy the ailing health care and health insurance markets must fit squarely within the boundaries of those powers.”

    A copy of the decision is here.  An appeal would go to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which has not yet ruled on the issue.

    The 4th Circuit recently dismissed the Obamacare case brought by Virginia on “standing” grounds without reaching the merits, while the 11th Circuit threw out the mandate on the merits.  The 6th Circuit has ruled in favor of the mandate on the merits.

    Judge Connor summarized the issue as follows:

    … this case concerns the precise parameters of Congress’s enumerated authority under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.  Specifically, the issue is whether Congress can invoke its Commerce Clause power to compel individuals to buy insurance as a condition of lawful citizenship or residency. The court concludes that it cannot. The power to regulate interstate commerce does not subsume the power to dictate a lifetime financial commitment to health insurance coverage. Without judicially enforceable limits, the constitutional blessing of the minimum coverage provision, codified at 26 U.S.C. § 5000A, would effectively sanction Congress’s exercise of police power under the auspices of the Commerce Clause, jeopardizing the integrity of our dual sovereignty structure. (p. 2)


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    Samuel Keck | September 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    would effectively sanction Congress’s exercise of police power under the auspices of the Commerce Clause, jeopardizing the integrity of our dual sovereignty structure.

    That “integrity of our dual sovereignty structure,” point is particularly interesting to me; don’t recall seeing it before.

    DINORightMarie | September 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Although I cannot claim to know all the rulings, and I am not a lawyer, my reading of the various rulings by the circuit courts and the appellate courts seem to reflect this:

    Leftists twist the Constitution to mean whatever they want it to mean, rewriting it via their rulings; moderates and Conservatives interpret the Constitution as written, as a document which limits federal powers, one which enumerates them and distributes them for a balance of powers as necessary for a free, constitutional republic.

    I beg to differ with Fuzzy’s assessment:

    “Is it just me or are the courts ruling based on their political leanings? The ones appointed by dems tend to say it’s okay, the ones appointed by republicans tend to strike it down. This is getting old and tired, and it’s not doing anything to inspire confidence in our legal system. Instead, the legal system looks like a partisan hackfest….”

    On the contrary, I believe it is proof that liberals are trying to redefine our nation, also knows as “fundamental transformation.” They reveal themselves with every ruling that twists and contorts like a crazy pretzel to justify their pre-determined decision; or, in the case of the prior ruling, just copping out on “standing” or some other excuse to pass the buck up to SCOTUS.

    I would assert that the liberals are ruling by and for political motives and ends. That includes the “men in black” in federal courts. The rest of those “men in black” are merely trying to apply principles of law, precedent, and stricter Constitutional interpretation to their rulings. In other words, they are doing their jobs with integrity, which may appear partisan, but in fact is not.

    Am I wrong? Or is it really a “hackfest” on both sides?

      Your point is a distinction without a difference. I think it’s pretty safe to say that there are advocate judges on both sides of the aisle, yes, as spiritof61 notes, all the way up to the Supremes (so the answer to your final question is yes, you’re wrong, and yes, the political hackfest exists on both sides). We know this because we know that it matters who is president when a Supreme retires or dies or whatever. The appointments are key to both side. It’s not anything new. It’s just having a devastating impact on more facets of our lives in this historical moment.

    obpopulus | September 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    The judge hit the nail on the head with this decision. The Federal government is attempting to assume plenary or general powers in passing the health care law. In our Constitution, that is a no no as only the states have general police powers as the judge said the federal government has only limited or enumerated powers. Hence, Romneycare is allowable (although not advisable) and Obamacare is unconstitutional.

    BannedbytheGuardian | September 13, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    How have you managed to make this so complicated? Never say you guys are not inventive.

    Why do you have such enormous expectations in health services -enough to shake your country to its foundations?

    . Tort reform . Stop making up new & exotic diseases & syndromes. No huge billboards touting for such.

    Also every American to lose 10% of body weight.

    That is a start.

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