Okay…maybe they didn’t strike a blow directly to Rob Mckenna, but by upholding the “individual mandate” in last year’s health care reform bill today, the Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit has struck another serious blow against the multi-state lawsuit.
Today’s ruling makes the third Appeals Court to uphold the law and the controversial individual insurance mandate. (I reviewed the pending lawsuits and decisions through July here.) One court has ruled against the law: the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta ruled 2-1 on August 11th against the insurance mandate provision in the law. This is the Teabagger-inspired lawsuit that Washington state AG Rob McKenna unilaterally joined against the will of the Governor, the Legislature, and the people. Mckenna takes credit for the instigating the lawsuit.
In today’s ruling the majority rejects the the Appellants’ central objection that, “Congress, for the first time, has actually commanded that all Americans purchase a product, health insurance”
We look first to the text of the Constitution. Article I, § 8,cl. 3, states: “The Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” (emphasis added). At the time the Constitution was fashioned, to “regulate” meant, as it does now, “[t]o adjust by rule or method,” as well as “[t]o direct.”
To“direct,” in turn, included “[t]o prescribe certain measure[s]; to mark out a certain course,” and “[t]o order; to command.”28 In other words, to “regulate” can mean to require action, and nothing in the definition appears to limit that power only to those already active in relation to an interstate market. Nor was the term “commerce” limited to only existing commerce. There is therefore no textual support for appellants’ argument.
Of course, they then look to previous Supreme Court decisions. The bottom line: the Court rejects McKenna’s bullshit.
And my lunch break is over, so enjoy the rest of the opinion.