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.