Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is asking his attorney general to advise him on whether implementing the federal health care overhaul would put Parnell in violation of his oath of office.
A federal judge in Florida this week struck down the law as unconstitutional in a case joined by 26 states, including Alaska. A major point of contention is a provision requiring citizens to buy health insurance... Parnell says he took an oath to support and defend the constitutions of the United States and Alaska. While the Republican governor concedes the issue is expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, he says he has a duty to uphold the law and wants the attorney general to advise him on what the duty is after the Florida ruling.
Parnell is doing the right thing, according to Mark Levin, president of Landmark Legal Foundation. Levin points to 18 USC 641, which reads as follows:
Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, voucher, money, or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof, or any property made or being made under contract for the United States or any department or agency thereof...
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; but if the value of such property in the aggregate, combining amounts from all the counts for which the defendant is convicted in a single case, does not exceed the sum of $1,000, he shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
In other words, anyone caught frittering away the taxpayers' money working on a nonexistent law is guilty of fraud.
Those who excuse the government's behavior by pointing to the fact that Judge Vinson did not issue an injunction would do well to read the actual decision.
Although concluding that PPACA was "void," Judge Vinson did not issue an injunction against enforcement of the act. The Court said that its declaratory judgment was the "functional equivalent of an injunction" because of the presumption that officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the courts. "Thus, the award of declaratory relief is adequate and separate injunctive relief is not necessary." Id., page 75.
There was no need for an injunction: the entire law is dust. Kaput. Bupkis. Nada. Dead.
And, wonder of wonders, even The New York Times published an erudite letter-to-the-editor describing the malfeasance necessary for the government to claim penultimate power over the individual by ladling non-existent federal powers into the Commerce Clause.
To the Editor:
“Judicial Activism on Health Reform” (editorial, Feb. 2) calls Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional an example of overreach.
True overreach would be to find that within the power to regulate commerce among states is the power to force people to spend their money for a product favored by the federal government. What next, a law forcing people to buy G.M. cars in order to support the economy and protect the employment of federally subsidized workers? If the government can do the former it can surely do the latter.
If the commerce clause is interpreted that broadly, then there are no limits. If the government wants to nationalize the health system and be honest about the costs, present and future, then it should tax and borrow to support it. But please do not applaud the sophistry that forcing people to spend their private resources for a particular product, however attractive, can have anything whatever to do with regulating commerce among the states.
Draper, Utah, Feb. 2, 2011
Well done, Mr. Holdaway. Well done.
Now, Republicans in the House: isn't it time you dragged Kathleen Sebelius and Eric Holder in to testify as to whether they are complying with the court? As for you state Attorneys General, isn't it time you petitioned Judge Vinson to hold the federal government in contempt for continuing to implement a law that doesn't exist?
These Leftists are playing hard-ball. And I'm sick of the McCains and Grahams who pretend that this country isn't at a crossroads. It is. Hell, even Robert Rubin -- Bill Clinton's economic genius -- is warning of an economic collapse. It's time to stop screwing around, Republicans. Get to stepping!