Yet another federal court upholds constitutionality of health care law


Just a month ago or so, conservatives across the land waxed jubilant when a federal judge in Florida ruled that the health-care reform law known in some circles as ObamaCare is unconstitutional.

Never mind that the ruling amounted to judicial activism, which conservatives so often claim to disdain (as I noted HERE at the time), it was widely hailed by right-wingers as the turning point in the legal challenge against this socialistic scheme that had been rammed down our throats by those terrible Democrats.

Of course, it was no great turning point at all. It only evened the score at 2-2. It was the second federal-court ruling against the health care law, while two other courts had upheld the measure.

Which brings us to the present and to my opportunity to issue, with relish, this little bulletin: Don’t look now, wingnuts, but the score suddenly is 3-2 in favor of the good guys.

A federal judge in Washington ruled yesterday that Congress has clear authority to regulate health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Reactions from liberal pundits can be found HERE and HERE and HERE. Enjoy!



  1. This needs to make it’s way quickly to the U.S. Supreme Court for the final verdict. Either pro or con.

  2. Mike Carroll

    No liberal activist she. Yeah, right.

    “She was nominated to the court by President Bill Clinton, and confirmed in July 1994.

    After receiving her B.A. from Cornell University and LL.B. from Harvard Law School, she was hired by the National Labor Relations Board. She worked as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Harrison A. Williams (D–NJ), later convicted in the Abscam scandal, and subsequently for U.S. Congressman Jonathan B. Bingham (D–NY). Kessler worked for the New York City Board of Education, and then opened a public interest law firm. In June 1977, she was appointed Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and from 1981 to 1985 served as Presiding Judge of the Family Division. She was President of the National Association of Women Judges from 1983 to 1984, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association Conference of Federal Trial Judges and the U.S. Judicial Conference’s Committee on Court Administration and Management.”
    Just saying.

  3. The foregoing is Mike Carroll’s way of saying that he favors the judicial activism of the right-wing judges whose rulings have differed with Gladys Kessler’s.

    It’s also interesting that Mike offers no argument on the issues. Rather, he merely cites the judge’s resume, which actually strikes me as pretty impressive. Mike apparently thinks it’s just terrible.

    Meanwhile, none of us should hold our breath waiting for Mike to dispute Judge Kessler’s interpretation of the Commerce Clause.

  4. Mike doesn’t need to dispute Kessler’s interpretation when Judge Roger Vinson’s decision is more than adequate:

    “… I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and inequities in our health care system. The health care market is more than one sixth of the national economy, and without doubt Congress has the power to reform and regulate this market. That has not been disputed in this case. The principal dispute has been about how Congress chose to exercise that power here.

    Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”


  5. Mike Carroll

    Article 1, Section 8, paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution states-in its entirety “The Congress shall have the power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian Tribes:
    That’s it Sports fans.
    From those few words liberal activist judges, for decades, have expanded the power of the federal government into all corners of our lives such that dear old Gladys can claim that not purchasing insurance is an activity and thus within the regulatory powers of Congress through the Commerce clause.
    By her reasoning, and all good liberals believe this, every “action” or decision of a person is subject to the control of your friendly federal government. Never mind that pesky little 10th amendment which limits the powers of the federal government to Constitutionally enumerated powers and reserves the rest to the States or to the people.
    You may now exhale.

  6. But Mike, the health care law was duly adopted by the elected representatives of the American people. For an unelected judge to subsitute his or her opinions for those of legislators amounts to judicial activism. Certainly you’ve implied as much in previous comments. All you conservatives claim to be opposed to judicial activism, but you make exceptions when the results suit your political purposes. In other words, you’re hypocrites on that subject. Liberals, on the other hand, don’t run around squawking about judicial activism, mainly because they have a better grasp of how the court system is supposed to work. They recognize that courts have every right to pass judgment on even the most popular of legislative measures.

  7. Mike Carroll

    Pat-you and other liberals (Dicky Durbin is particularly guilty of this) have a very convenient take on a Conservatives’ definition of judicial activism. It doesn’t happen to be accurate however as I’m sure you probably know.
    On the off chance that you don’t know, allow me to enlighten you, which I have been doing for lo these many years.
    A true Conservative defines Judicial Activism as substituting the POLITICAL judgment of the judiciary over the judgment of the people’s elected representatives, that is, the legislature. It is interpreting the Constitution, or a law, in a manner inconsistent with the intent of the founders or the legislative body.
    That is how one ends up with interpretations of the Commerce clause well beyond the Constitutional intent or the finding of new “rights” through emanations and permutations so that a majority of unelected judges can force a political outcome that fits their philosophy. It is deciding a case based on a preferred outcome rather than the law.
    Barack Obama’s newest addition to the Supreme Court (that wise Latina woman) gives a fine definition of the above with her dissent, along with fellow traveler Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in the recent Supreme Court decision regarding vaccines.
    Now that you have been instructed, I don’t expect you to make that mistake again.

  8. Mike: As is your custom on this subject, you’re full of crap. You pretend that only your interpretation of the Commerce Clause is the legitimate one. You fail to recognize that interpretations of the Commerce Clause vary even among conservatice justices, which has been reflected in opinions issues by Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in cases hinging on the Commerce Clause.

    You pretend that “the intent of the founders” is crystal clear. If that were true, we could substitute a panel of mere clerks for the Supreme Court.

    You pretend that liberal justices hand down rulings that reflect “a preferred outcome,” which is your euphemism for “a political outcome.” You pretend that conservative justices never demonstrate a similar penchant.

    You even mistakenly identify “that wise Latina woman” as “Obama’s newest addition to the Supreme Court.” Or am I wrong in assuming that Elena Kagan is not a Latina?

  9. Mike Carroll

    Oops-forgot Kagan but, in my defense, she probably will turn out to be forgettable as will Sotomayor except in a historical judicial disaster vein.
    I see that you conveniently sidestep the substance of my comment in favor of the typical liberal rant.
    As far as crap is concerned, I’ll let others decide who is shovelling it. You or me.

  10. District Judge: The Federal Government Can Regulate Your Mindthoughts
    —Gabriel Malor

    Worth a read

    “The split is one of worldview. For many Democrats the federal government’s power is nearly unlimited or should be. That has been the foundational premise of almost all “progressive” litigation and a great deal of Democratic legislation, which seeks to impose solutions on backward individuals and states that just won’t get with the program.

    And so Judge Kessler’s “struggle” with the question of whether the Commerce Clause justifies forcing every person who takes breath in the United States to buy health insurance merely because they are breathing in the United States isn’t much of a struggle after all. She goes the same route as her Democratic fellows who determined that the Commerce Clause doesn’t regulate just commercial activity but all decisions which have an economic effect. At least she has the grace to admit this is new ground:”

    “Of course, if Judge Kessler is correct, then every “mental activity” that has an economic effect is subject to regulation by the federal government. This would indeed justify a mandate to buy broccoli or GM cars or whatever because your decision not to make such purchases is “economic activity” that affects the price of these goods in the interstate marketplace. ”


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