By: Tamzin A. Rosenwasser, M.D.,
The eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” is unconstitutional in the case brought by Florida and 25 other states, two private citizens, and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Specifically, it upheld the ruling that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, but did not rule that the bill as a whole is unconstitutional, as did Judge Vinson.
One wonders why the judges are so timorous, especially since the bill lacks a severability clause. Even more fundamentally, as noted by Judge Vinson, James Madison, in The Federalist No 45, specified that the powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those powers, delegated by the people and by the states, do not include interference by the federal government in medical care. As the Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
We should note here that the sovereign States created the federal government. The federal government is thus properly the agent of the sovereign states, in carrying out the duties which the powers delegated to the federal government delineate.
As the early Chief Justice John Marshall noted, and as Judge Vinson quotes him; “that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” This remains true despite the bloodless coup d’etat carried out by FDR in the 1930s, which fundamentally subverted our constitutional system, and which has led to the morass in which we struggle today.
Congress twisted the Commerce Clause into a pretzel in an attempt to justify forcing 305 million people to buy government-approved health “insurance.” The meaning of “commerce” in the Constitution boils down to the word “trade.” Trades are not forced exchanges. The sole means the government has is force. With force, there is no trade. The major intent of the commerce clause was to prevent barriers to trade across state lines.
Judge Vinson refers to the Wickard v Filburn case, decided in 1942, as “until recently…considered the most far-reaching expansion of Commerce Clause regulatory authority.” Filburn lost the case, which turned on 12 acres too many of wheat grown by Filburn for the government to stomach, and he was penalized. The Supreme Court stated:
That appellee’s own contribution to the demand for wheat may be trivial by itself is not enough to remove him from the scope of federal regulation where, as here, his contribution, taken together with that of many others similarly situated, is far from trivial.
This is called the “aggregation principle,” the idea that even little things add up to something big.
How about applying it to the government’s constant incursions into our freedom? Some may seem trivial, but, added up, their actions have caused us to lose the freedom that is our birthright, guaranteed to us in our Constitution. The effect of the Filburn decision, of course, is not trivial, as it allows Washington, D.C., to reach down to areas as tiny as 12 acres or even less, and to keep a person from growing his own food. How can anyone cite it without shuddering?
It is only in the wielding of government power that this obsessive concern is warranted, because government operates only by force. Force is the least humane way to treat human beings, and should be used only to prevent unlawful force.
Government has become so accustomed to using force to change Americans’ decisions and behavior that it has become impossible to presume that federal legislation is constitutional. Ms Pelosi derided the question, when asked directly if the health reform bill was constitutional, and James Clymer, another member of Congress, said that a lot of what Congress does is unconstitutional. Under the circumstances, what we need are criminal sanctions for members of Congress and the other two branches who violate their oath of office.
Judge Vinson notes that the defendants themselves state that the law cannot function without the “individual mandate” and that a severability clause was included in an earlier version of the bill, but was removed.
If a law depends on the unconstitutional use of force in order to function, why isn’t the whole law unconstitutional? One hopes the Supreme Court gets rid of this obscene monstrosity, which turns citizens into livestock on a government ranch.
Dr Tamzin Rosenwasser earned her MD from Washington University in St Louis. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Dermatology and has practiced Emergency Medicine and Dermatology. Dr. Rosenwasser served as President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in 2007-2008 and is currently on the Board of Directors. She also serves as the chair of the Research Advisory Committee of the Newfoundland Club of America. As a life-long dog lover and trainer, she realizes that her dogs have better access to medical care and more medical privacy than she has, and her veterinarians are paid more than physicians in the United States for exactly the same types of surgery.