Constitution

We’re all familiar with the classic Shell Game. We follow the ball. We know the huckster's tricks and we know he is moving it around to trip us up, but we believe our eyes are faster than the huckster’s hands.

Since the day in November of last year when the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the ObamaCare case, Americans have watched the ball of the individual mandate. We reckoned that we knew where the huckster was going to put it and some of us thought there was even a chance that it would fall off the table completely.

Then yesterday, after we all had placed our bets, confident that it would show up under the Commerce Clause shell, the huckster ended the game by revealing the location of the individual mandate ball: It was under the Taxation Clause shell. We all guessed wrong and we all lost.

“What the Court did not do on its last day in session I will do on my first day if elected President of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.... Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.”

That was Republican presidential candidate (and presumptive nominee) Mitt Romney’s response to today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding ObamaCare. Yet under the Constitution, the president does not have the power to repeal acts of Congress.

“Simply put, Congress may tax and spend.” With those historic words, the Supreme Court forced upon the United States a bleak dawn of a brave new world in which the federal government cannot be checked in its march toward totalitarianism.

In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court upheld the joint venture of the President and Congress to force every American, regardless of ability or desire, to purchase a qualifying health care insurance plan by 2014 or face a tax penalty for failure to comply.

Today’s ruling demonstrates a bizarre interpretation of the Constitution wherein the majority of the justices held that while the Constitution does not grant Congress the power to compel the purchase of a commodity, it does have the power to tax anyone who doesn’t make such a purchase.

As the sprawling surveillance site being constructed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in Utah grows larger and nearer completion every day, the domestic spy service remains tightlipped about just how much and what kind of personal electronic data they have already collected and collated. Not only does the NSA refuse to provide such information, it insists that it cannot be forced to.

In July of 2011 and again in May 2012, Senators Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) wrote a letter to James R. Clapper, Jr., the Director of National Intelligence, asking him a series of four questions regarding the activities of the NSA and other intelligence agencies regarding domestic surveillance.

 

“The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights,” former President Jimmy Carter charged in a June 24 op-ed in the New York Times, charging the United States government with assassination attempts through the use of drones and massive domestic surveillance against the privacy rights of American citizens. But Carter cited the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights rather than the U.S. Bill of Rights as the inspiration to follow and restore a respect for the inalienable rights of others.

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