Monday, April 19, 2010

An Excellent Point by Attorney General Cuccinelli.

In The Wall Street Journal, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia defends the law suit against the Federal Government and Obamacare.
In your April 2 editorial “ObamaCare and the Constitution,” you seem to assume that Virginia's lawsuit against ObamaCare is an attempt to "nullify" federal law.

This is not the case. Virginia concedes that the Constitution's Supremacy Clause ensures that federal law trumps state law when there is a direct conflict between laws. However, a federal law will only trump when it is constitutionally grounded. In our lawsuit, Virginia is asking the federal courts to declare the federal health-care act unconstitutional based on Congress's use of the Constitution's Commerce Clause to impose an individual health insurance mandate on citizens.

Certainly the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states, but for more than 220 years it has been applied to affirmative acts of commerce voluntarily entered into by individuals. If someone is not buying insurance, then—by definition—he is not participating in commerce. How, then, can the government use the Commerce Clause to regulate noncommerce? Virginia contends that it cannot.

If Congress has the power to force Americans to buy health insurance and thereby subsidize those people without it, then there is no limit to its power to force people to engage in other forms of commerce for the benefit of others. For example, Congress could force Americans to buy General Motors cars to save jobs in the face of lagging auto sales.

This lawsuit is an argument over how much the federal government can twist the wording of the Constitution so as to transfer even more power from the people to itself. It is about drawing a line on the bounds of the federal authority. Ultimately, it is about liberty itself.

Providing health care for all citizens is a laudable and worthy goal, but conceding our very freedom and the freedom of future generations to achieve that goal is a dangerous and inequitable exchange.

Ken Cuccinelli

Attorney General of Virginia

Richmond, Va.

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