During the process of passing ObamaCare, a reporter asked then Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi if the health care legislation was Constitutional. Dumbfounded by the question, she responded with her own question: “Are you serious?” The question she was asked appeared inane and stupid to the incredulous Ms. Pelosi. Apparently anything Congress does cannot be wrong in her mind, excepting most things done by Republicans.
Too many politicians consider themselves unaccountable to anyone other than God (and some consider this characterization a demotion). The first test of any legislation should be its Constitutionality. Only long-term politicians consider Constitutionality as irrelevant, impolite or ignorant. Ordinary folks still consider the Constitution valid and an important protection against oppressive government.
Congress takes an oath of office to uphold the Constitution. For most politicians this oath is considered of little import, a quaint, ceremonial ritual from a bygone era. To them, it represents little more than useful pomp and circumstance to convince the public of government’s importance and goodness. After all, a group of 500 plus people needs such props to successfully exploit the other 300 million. Ceremony can be useful tool to convince the masses that you represent them and not yourself.
Ms. Pelosi’s fantasy world was jolted in the November elections. Then on January 1, 2011 Federal Judge Vinson, in a 78 page opinion in a suit brought by 26 states, found the health care law unconstitutional. This excerpt from the Judge’s ruling, with emboldening added, must have been painful reading for Ms. Pelosi:
Regardless of how laudable its attempts may have been to accomplish these goals in passing the Act, Congress must operate within the bounds established by the Constitution. Again, this case is not about whether the Act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the Constitutional role of the federal government.
Ms. Pelosi was unequivocally reminded that the Judiciary is an equal branch of government, not subservient to Congressional wishes and whims. Unfortunately the joy of Ms.Pelosi learning this fact was not captured on video, depriving millions of YouTube viewers untold pleasure.
The practical effect of Judge Vinson’s decision is questionable. Ultimately a final ruling will likely be required by the U.S. Supreme Court. That may be a year or more away. According to Roger Pilon, “ObamaCare cannot be further implemented.” Yet, Pilon, also admits that ambiguous issues still exist, especially regarding the Administration’s intent to implement the program in spite