November 13, 2011
RALEIGH — The U.S. Supreme Court will rule on “one of the most important legal challenges to congressional power” when it considers the legal challenges to ObamaCare. That’s the assessment of the John Locke Foundation’s top legal expert.
The high court announced its plans this morning to address cases involving the 2010 federal health care reform law. Oral arguments are scheduled for March, with a decision expected in June.
Supreme Court action was expected, said Daren Bakst, JLF Director of Legal and Regulatory Studies. “Under ObamaCare, individuals would be forced to buy health insurance, or else pay penalties to the Internal Revenue Service,” he said. “This ‘individual mandate’ is the first attempt by Congress to force Americans to engage in commerce, as opposed to regulating existing commerce.”
“Unlike other federal regulation, which has been deemed constitutional under the Commerce Clause, Congress wouldn’t be regulating economic activity but regulating economic ‘inactivity,'” Bakst added. “By merely existing, individuals would be subjected to regulation. The implications of allowing such a mandate are disturbing because Congress would be able to dictate how Americans use some or even all of their money and how we live our lives. This isn’t a case about health care. It is a case about freedom and individual liberty.”