I have often thought that makes America unique in the history of the world is not her physical boundaries. It’s not the vast expanse of land mass bordering two oceans. It’s not the natural resources.
It’s the people that have cherished the concept of Liberty that have made America what she is.
Update: As regards to 5(C). I disagree with the policy but would have thought that the state could legislate that. Technically speaking, that means I agree with the legality Arizona was getting at and disagree with the Court.
Supreme Court Announces Ruling
This morning the Supreme Court released it’s ruling on the controversial Arizona immigration law passed in 2010. The highly anticipated ruling is one of two high visibility cases heard in this session. The Federal government had sued Arizona as a result of the law. Specifically 4 sections:
- Section 3 – This section made failure to comply with Federal alien-registrations a state misdemeanor.
- Section 6 – Authorizes state and local officers to arrest without a warrant a person “the officer has probable cause to believe . . . has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States”
- 5(C) – This section makes it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized alien to look for or engage in work.
- Section 2(B) – Requires officers conducting a stop, detention, or arrest to make efforts, in some circumstances, to verify the person’s immigration status with the Federal Government
Steady upwards track since April. Intrade has it at 75% that the law is struck down.
One of the many arguments made by the supporters of Obamacare is that there exists a health care market. And, as such, congress can regulate it. This includes the requirement to purchase insurance. A counter argument to this line of reasoning is that the government can regulate commerce once contracted, but not before. That is, if you choose to purchase a car, congress can regulate things like seat belts and emission technologies. But they can’t require you to purchase car.
Which gets us to the point. Defenders of Obamacare will argue that we are already IN the market, by being alive we are in the “health care contract”. And this is because if we get sick or hurt and cannot afford to pay for our care, the rest of us must pick up the cost.
It’s hard to argue this line of thinking.
We ARE all in this market if you think of it this way. Either acting as people who are assuming a cost for those who act less responsibly or by acting in a responsible manner ourselves.
But then it occurred to me. The only reason that we are in this “market” to begin with is through government mandate to begin with. Which is, “You cannot turn away a patient based on ability to pay.”
If the government didn’t first require that I pay for all people’s irresponsibility, then I would not have costs ascribed to me that now require me to purchase insurance.
This is what the Court meant when they asked, “Can you create a market that forces everyone to participate and then regulate that market without limit?”
The argument goes something like this:
By allowing people to make their own decisions, they pass costs on to other American citizens who make better and more correct decisions. Therefore, we can mandate that what we feel is a better and more correct decision; health insurance.
That’s the Left. That’s Obama. That’s what people who claim to love liberty want to embrace. That a beneficent government, acting in our best interests, can mandate behavior.
I’ve challenged this line of thought by asking if we could mandate blueberries. See, blueberries are one of the most healthy foods available. It consistently ranks in the top 5; heck, top 3. People who eat blueberries are healthier than people who don’t.
There is little scientific evidence to dispute this. If any.
Yet we know that we cannot mandate that people buy blueberries.
But if this health care mandate goes through, we are saying that the government CAN mandate blueberries. Heck, we then admit that the government mandate that we GROW blueberries.
And yet this argument has been ignored.
Antonin Scalia, asked if the government might require Americans to buy broccoli or automobiles. Returning to the limits thing, Scalia asked, “If the government can do this, what else can it … do?”
Sub green for blue and the argument is the same.
What can the government NOT mandate?
Very soon the Obama administration is going to argue before the Supreme Court that the United States Government is able to mandate the purchase of a private good. In this case, health insurance. The reason, as defined by the administration, is that by not purchasing insurance, millions of Americans will transfer untold billions in health care costs to others.
The idea is that to provide basic health services to everyone, the government is able to mandate insurance because it relates to “citizen’s health.”
When faced with arguments like this in the past by supporters of the health care bill and the individual mandate, I’ve asked where the government would draw the line. Further, I’ve asked for specifics on what the nature of a blueberry mandate and the health care mandate would be.
No answer. However, I am happy to see that I am not alone in my musings.