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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nice Try. You Lose.

The Washington Post editorial team leaps into action this morning in an effort to refute Judge Hudson's ObamaCare decision.

See "Judge Hudson's flawed but restrained ruling on the health law."

Their argument?

"It is certainly true, as Judge Hudson noted, that the Constitution's commerce clause has never been interpreted to extend to a decision not to purchase a product - in this case, health insurance. Yet health care presents an extraordinary, perhaps unique, circumstance that we believe puts the individual mandate within the realm of congressional powers."

Yeah, ObamaCare may be ... extra-constitutional ... but we need it, damn it, so let it slide this one time, okay? The need is unique.  And extraordinary. 

Which was probably the same rationale that the Ku Klux Klan used to justify lynching black folks in the 20's.

Too pathetic.  Too lazy.  And more than a bit cynical.

ObamaCare Unravels

It's a shame that the courts had to do that which Congress failed to - execute the will of the people - but when it becomes necessary, we'll accept the court's assistance with pleasure.  The wonderful news:
Judge rules for Va. on health-care case
By Jim Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's office had argued that the individual mandate provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

"On careful review, this court must conclude that Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision -- exceeds the consitutional exercise of congressional power," U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson wrote in a 42-page opinion.

"The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers. At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance-- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

“I am gratified we prevailed," Cuccinelli said. "This won’t be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.” [link]
I love the smell of freedom in the morning.

Ken Cuccinelli Wins Big

In his own words:
My name is Ken Cuccinelli, and in November 2009, I was elected Attorney General of Virginia. I took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

And I take that oath very seriously.

As you have probably heard, a federal judge here in Virginia has sided against Obama and in favor of my argument that the healthcare bill's provision forcing citizens to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

It's the 21st Century version of the "shot heard 'round the world."

Even though I strongly disagreed with the health care bill, our ongoing lawsuit isn't about health care. It's about liberty!

As you might imagine, I'm not the most popular person with the leftists in America these days. The conservative leadership I've been working to provide in Virginia and across this great nation has drawn countless personal and political attacks from the left. [received via email]
And speaking of leftists, expect the Roanoke Times editorialists to howl.

It's a good day.

Habeeb Weighs In On The ObamaCare Ruling

Greg Habeeb, 8th District Republican nominee to the House of Delegates, sent out a press release on Ken Cuccinelli's momentous victory over ObamaCare:
Salem – In a statement released from his headquarters today, Greg Habeeb, Republican nominee for the House of Delegates, hailed Judge Hudson's ruling against President Obama’s health care reform legislation as a victory for the people of Virginia.

“For too long the Federal government has expanded the scope and authority of federal regulation under the auspices of the Commerce Clause,” said Habeeb. “This judgment is a victory in the war to restore the proper balance between government and the people.”

In a ruling issued earlier today, Federal Judge Henry Hudson struck down the individual mandate in the president’s health care bill. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli brought suit against the legislation on behalf of the state of Virginia.

Habeeb praised Cuccinelli’s courage in leading the fight to have the individual mandate in the health care reform bill declared unconstitutional. “As Attorney General Cuccinelli so eloquently argues, ‘if the Federal government is now permitted to regulate the lack of commercial activity and to compel the purchase of a private product in the private market place, there is nothing left outside the scope of the Federal government,’” he said.

“I commend Attorney General Cuccinelli for taking the lead in this fight and I want to commend the Republicans in the Virginia legislature and the handful of their brave Democratic colleagues who stood up for Virginia and passed the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act - the law which served as the underpinning for Virginia's legal challenge.

“I look forward to working with members of both parties in Richmond to craft commonsense legislation that improves access to healthcare, reduces costs and protects the quality of care,” Habeeb said. [received via email]
Freedom. It's all about freedom.

Thanks, Greg.

Eric Cantor Wants Fast Action

Eric Cantor (R-VA7) released the following statement regarding the Cuccinelli victory:
Today’s ruling is a clear affirmation that President Obama’s health care law is unconstitutional. The efforts of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli have raised legitimate concerns and ensured that the people of the Commonwealth will have their rights protected against this unconstitutional law. Ultimately, we must ensure that no American will be forced by the federal government to purchase health insurance they may not need, want, or be able to afford.

To ensure an expedited process moving forward, I call on President Obama and Attorney General Holder to join Attorney General Cuccinelli in requesting that this case be sent directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. In this challenging environment, we must not burden our states, employers, and families with the costs and uncertainty created by this unconstitutional law, and we must take all steps to resolve this issue immediately.
We need prompt and vigorous action. This monster must die.

George Allen Reacts To The News

From a press release:
Decision a victory for the rights and prerogatives of Virginians
Case is a reminder that Sen. Jim Webb ignored the views and values of Virginians with his decisive vote for the federal government takeover of health care.

Mt. Vernon, Va. – Former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen issued the following statement today regarding the Judge Henry E. Hudson’s ruling on Virginia’s Constitutional challenge to the federal healthcare law:

“This case is a reminder that Sen. Jim Webb ignored the views and values of the people of Virginia with his many votes, including the one for Senate passage last Christmas eve, for this unfair, harmful, unconstitutional federal government takeover of health care and its odious mandates.

“This decision is a victory for the rights and prerogatives of Virginians and potentially people throughout our United States.

“I heartily commend Judge Hudson for his sound, Constitutionally-based decision and also thank Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli for defending liberty against federal usurpation and dictates.” 
Hear hear.

Ken The Conqueror

The accolades for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are pouring in.

Conservative strategist Richard Viguerie:
With his court victory over Obamacare, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has taken his place on the national stage as an important conservative leader.

Cuccinelli joins a growing number of recently-elected young conservatives who will redefine the Republican Party.

For decades, the number one need for conservatives has been young principled leaders. Recent elections have greatly increased the number of young conservatives who will soon become the face of the GOP. These include Sarah Palin, Tim Scott, Susana Martinez, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, Nikki Haley, and many others.

Ever since Ronald Reagan left the presidency, the face of the GOP has been establishment, status quo, big-government (but not quite as big as Democrats want) politicians, epitomized by Bob Dole, John McCain, Bill Frist, Denny Hastert, Tom Delay, and Bush 41 and 43.

There wasn't a small-government constitutional conservative in the entire batch. [received via email]
Hard times. Changing times. New leadership to shoulder the burden and lead the way. Here's to Ken's victory. The first of many.

Obenshain Celebrates

Senator Obenshain:
Harrisonburg--Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) weighed in on U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson’s ruling on the constitutionality of the federal health care mandate. “Today’s ruling is a vindication for the majority of Americans,” said Obenshain, “but far more importantly, it is a victory for the American people and for our constitutional principles.”

Senator Obenshain, joined by all of his Republican colleagues and five Democrats, voted for the Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act (Senate Bills 283, 311, and 417 of 2010), which formed the basis for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s challenge to the federal statute, and served as a copatron of the measure.

A critical and controversial component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the mandate requires each American to purchase health insurance by 2014 or to pay a fine, in the form of additional taxation, for failure to do so. “Never before has the federal government required citizens to purchase a good or service merely by virtue of existing,” said Obenshain. “Today’s ruling is far from the last word on the subject, but it’s very encouraging news.”

“Ken Cuccinelli and his office have done an exceptional job of raising this important challenge to the federal health care bill,” said Obenshain. “With the Constitution on their side, I am hopeful that today’s ruling is just the first in upholding these important constitutional liberties.” [received via email]
This is no small thing.  The earth just shifted on its axis.  ObamaCare is now on its way - finally - to the ash heap of history.  Hope for this country comes alive.


The Witch Is Dead

Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart on our ObamaCare victory in the courts:
Today, in a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a federal judge ruled that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance or face a penalty found in ObamaCare is unconstitutional.

I'd like to thank General Cuccinelli for the tremendous job he has done in standing up for freedom and liberty not only here in Virginia, but also across the country with this lawsuit. Thanks to his leadership, Virginia is leading the way against this unconstitutional power-grab by the federal government.

Thank you for preserving freedom. [received via email]
There are still many battles to be won. But this sets victory in motion.

The WSJ on Cuccinelli's Victory

It's all about placing restrictions - finally! - on the power of government to regulate our lives:
ObamaCare Loses in Court
Wall Street Journal editorial

Only a few months ago, the White House and its allies on the legal left dismissed the constitutional challenges to ObamaCare as frivolous, futile and politically motived. So much for that. Yesterday, a federal district court judge in Virginia ruled that the health law breaches the Constitution's limits on government power.

In a careful 42-page ruling, Judge Henry Hudson declared that ObamaCare's core enforcement mechanism known as the individual mandate—the regulation that requires everyone to purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty—exceeds Congress's authority to regulate the lives of Americans.

So the issue is joined, and no doubt with historic consequences for American liberty. For most of the last century, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the Constitution's Commerce Clause as so elastic as to allow any regulation desired by a Congressional majority. Only with the William Rehnquist Court did the Justices begin to rediscover that the Commerce Clause has some limits, as in the Lopez (1995) and Morrison (2000) cases.

The courts up through the Supremes will now decide if government can order individuals to buy a private product or be penalized for not doing so. If government can punish citizens for in essence doing nothing, then what is left of the core Constitutional principle of limited and enumerated government powers?

Judge Hudson's opinion is particularly valuable because it dispatches the White House's carousel of rationalizations for its unprecedented intrusions. The Justice Department argued that the mandate is justified by the Commerce Clause because the decision not to purchase insurance has a substantial effect on interstate commerce because everybody needs medical care eventually. And if not that, then it's permissible under the broader taxing power for the general welfare; and if not that, then it's viable under the Necessary and Proper clause; and if not that, well, it's needed to make the overall regulatory scheme function.

But as Judge Hudson argues, the nut of the case is the Commerce Clause. Justice can't now claim that the mandate is "really" a tax when the bill itself imposes what it calls a "penalty" for failing to buy insurance and says the power to impose the mandate is vested in interstate commerce. Recall that President Obama went on national television during the ObamaCare debate to angrily assert that the mandate "is absolutely not a tax increase."

Moreover, Judge Hudson says that no court has ever "extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter the stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market." [link]
We have our lives back.  At least until the Supreme Court gets involved.

Doomed To Failure

Megan McArdle (in "Judge Rules Health Reform Mandate Unconstitutional") on the future of ObamaCare:
Democrats were determined to have a law that did everything, or close to it. They didn't want some moldy old Medicaid expansion that would just open them up to charges that they only cared about spending more money on poor people. They wanted to fundamentally remake the "broken" American health care system. Unfortunately, their idea of doing so was to build a vast, Rube Goldberg machine full of insanely complicated moving parts, itself very likely to break. If any of those parts doesn't work exactly as forecast, the whole machine may not only fail to work, it may take out some of the parts of the existing health care infrastructure that were actually working decently well, as we've seen with low-wage workers losing insurance coverage for their children.

A lot of the bits of the machine aren't working as predicted; the legal problems are only one issue. Proponents naturally think these are just growing pains, while opponents like me are inclined to be more pessimistic. Only time will tell who's right, though I must offer one telling point for the prosecution: I've yet to see a major story showing how health care reform is working better than expected. So far, everything from the claims that Democrats would get a bounce in the polls after passage, to the promises that you could keep your insurance if you liked it, to the legal issues, turn out to have been overoptimistic at best. 
And it will only get worse.

Liberalism At Its Essence

Forcing America's taxpayers to pay for shit so that liberals can feel good about themselves.

See "Obama signs child nutrition bill, championed by the first lady."

She says it's about undernourished kids. When she isn't shedding tears over the fact that America's kids are all fat.

Playing games. Playing games.

He's Still On?

Because All The Real Problems Have Been Overcome

Good grief:


Center stage. Act MCMLXX. A never-ending saga.

Whatever.

On Justice Breyer