Blaine's Bulletin- The U.S. Supreme Court

It’s not often that bumper stickers get my attention, but during a recent trip back home to Missouri three black and white words emblazoned on the back of a truck caught my attention: “Legalize the Constitution.”

It’s not often that bumper stickers get my attention, but during a recent trip back home to Missouri three black and white words emblazoned on the back of a truck caught my attention: “Legalize the Constitution.”  While I have heard from many of you back home about the increasing role the government is playing in our lives, this statement being made from the bumper of a pickup truck really captured my concerns about the extent that the president and his administration have gone to chip away at our U.S. Constitution.

As many of you know, the U.S. Supreme Court is the final stop for legal questions surrounding our Constitution. Recently, many of my colleagues in Congress and I signed onto two separate amicus - or friend of the court - briefs: the first challenges the constitutionality of the president’s health-care law and the second supports Arizona’s immigration law. An amicus brief is a legal opinion from an individual or a group with relevant information to provide to the court.

Under the president’s health-care law, which I voted against and have worked hard to repeal, all Americans with taxable income will be required to have a certain level of health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. Our amicus brief specifically argues that the Constitution does not empower Congress to require Americans to purchase and maintain health insurance or pay an annual penalty, and that because the individual mandate applies to individuals regardless of whether they are presently engaged in any specific commercial or economic activity, it exceeds the powers of the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. The brief also argues that the entire health-care law should be ruled invalid since the individual mandate cannot be severed from the law which contains no severability clause.

In addition to being unconstitutional, this law is just bad policy:  it raises premiums, suffocates economic growth, makes damaging cuts to Medicare, paves the way for federally funded abortions, and, as mentioned before, takes the unprecedented and unconstitutional step of penalizing Americans who refuse to purchase a product forced upon them by the federal government.

Meanwhile, I am proud to report that I am standing behind the state of Arizona’s immigration law, passed by its legislature and signed by its governor. The Obama administration challenged this law that requires state and local law enforcement officials to facilitate the detection of unauthorized immigrants in their daily duties, as well as establishes criminal penalties under state law for immigrant smuggling and failure to carry or complete immigration documents.  Our brief simply argues that the state has the authority to protect citizens from crime and lawlessness linked to the national government’s failure to enforce federal immigration policies. The brief further argues that although states may not pass laws setting immigration policy, they may pass harmonious laws that further Congress’ purposes.   

Over the next few months, these two important cases will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and rulings could come this summer. At stake, my friends, are the very precepts of a Constitution that has held this country together for more than 200 years. As the Obama administration continues to try and weaken our Constitution, it is my duty to uphold that sacred document. Our generation and future generations of Americans should never have to question the legality of our own U.S. Constitution.