Please consider the pitiful Dr. Leon Friedman -- if that is his real name -- who claims to be a professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra Law School. Parents of students planning to attend law school: I feel safe in telling you that you can cross Hofstra off your child's list.
A federal appeals court has just heard the first appeals from lower court decisions dealing with the constitutionality of the federal health care law (alternately called "Obama care" and the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"). A Virginia judge and a Florida judge (both appointed by Republican Presidents) have decided that Congress lacks power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to pass the federal health care law. Three other federal trial judges (appointed by Democratic Presidents) had upheld the law...
Why [must] ... Congress ... rely on specific enabling language in the Constitution that, according to those judges, must be as narrowly defined as possible? Why should there be strained and unrealistic limits on Congress' power to "regulate Commerce... among the several States," the broad language of the Constitutional provision?
...[Historically, the states formed a] central government [that] could also produce "certain blessings" for the people, according to Randolph. "Under this head may be considered the establishment of great national works--the improvement of inland navigation -- agriculture -- manufactures -- a freer intercourse among the citizens."
...The idea that the federal government should have fewer legislative powers than the states is based on nothing more than a perceived problem that existed 224 years ago and no longer has any force today.
Of course, Congress must rely on the specific words of the Constitution as a basis for any legislation, as the Republicans and the Tea Party insists. But those broad words -- "general welfare" "regulate commerce" -- must be read in accordance with the economic reality of our time, not the time in which the Constitution was ratified...
...Today's federal courts should follow the same path and uphold legislation like the Obama health care law that correct problems having a serious impact on our nation's economy and do effect "Commerce... among the several states".
The ideologically-driven notion that we cannot let Congress pass laws unless we can link them to specific language in the Constitution that must be as narrowly defined as possible must be rejected.
Horse-hockey, Dr. Friedman. This is simply your feeble excuse to shred more of our Constitution.
So far from its founding has America come that it would be well nigh unrecognizable to the Framers.
As for your ridiculous contention that you may adjust our highest law to meet your perceived needs, may I pose a hypothetical?
How long before my mortgage becomes "living and breathing"? After all, my "economic reality" now may not match the time at which it was written. And what's this magical expiration date you've arbitrarily assigned to our highest law? Does it apply to any law?
And if the federal government can arbitrarily control all commerce, what prevents it from mandating shelter for everyone? Or food? And what measures must it use to compel adherence?
Let us consult James Madison, principal author of the Constitution, who utterly rejects your assertion.
I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that is not the guide in expounding it, there may be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful exercise of its powers. If the meaning of the text be sought in the changeable meaning of the words composing it, it is evident that the shape and attributes of the Government must partake of the changes to which the words and phrases of all living languages are constantly subject. What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense.
Such is the philosophy of the Democrats, who believe that the end always justify the means.
Tyranny: that is what we oppose.
The British philosopher John Locke was deeply interested in a design for government that would prevent it from descending into tyranny. In the late 17th century, Locke argued that monarchs had no "divine right" to rule; instead, he asserted that the source of power lay in the people. Furthermore, he stated that humans were born into this world with certain natural and "inalienable" rights including to "life, liberty and property". Locke believed that government could not grant these rights because they were God-given; therefore, no government could take them away or withhold them from the people.
Thomas Jefferson used Locke's concepts as central tenets when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. He proclaimed the government's foremost duty was to protect the sacred attributes of the individual.
We conservatives are originalists: If the Constitution's meaning is not interpreted as the framers intended, if it can be altered at will, then what protects any law from arbitrary interpretation, from the capricious whims of the ill-intentioned?
To create a man-made right to health care, you must first assume control of people's lives: doctors and nurses, to name but two groups of free people. You must compel them to deliver services, perhaps to change their residences and places of work, you must violate their God-given natural rights -- their freedom! You must truly enslave them to grant your man-given rights!
Where are your limits on government control, Dr. Friedman? What are the limits on your evisceration of our Constitution?
And that question is one that this alleged excuse for a "Constitutional expert" cannot answer.
Which is why the moderators refuse to even allow it to be seen.
Related: Write Your Own Laurence Tribe Op-Ed -- How the Constitution Empowers the Federal Government To Do Anything It Wants!.