Monday, October 28, 2013

Obamacare vs. The Origination Clause

It Was A Great 5 Minutes ...

'Reader' Zach writes:
Tax bills cannot originate in the Senate, and that is where the associated tax of the ACA originated. So, the process used to pass the law violates the Origination Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
This case will probably make it to the Supreme Court because the violation is so clear. Even lawyers and professors of law who support the ACA have said this seems to be a legit breach of the Origination Clause.
He wants to know what I think--and whether or not the way Obamacare was passed will bring down the law itself!

What Is He Talking About?
 The Origination Clause is Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1. It states:
All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
As Obamacare was upheld by the supreme court as a tax, that would make it's method of passage--having (to some degree or another) originated in the Democrat controlled Senate unconstitutional. Thus, if challenged in court as (a) it's a tax and then (b) it wasn't passed as a tax it could fall apart and the whole thing could be thrown out. Maybe that's what Justice Roberts had in mind?

The Pacific Legal Foundation is gonna find out: They're bringing the suit.

Will It Kill Obamacare?

Huh!? Just Like That!? No!?
I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about Constitutional Law. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort. What does does Justice Roberts look like? ... Does he look like a bitch!?

Here's Zach's answer (although he doesn't know it yet)--Justice Roberts, to Zach, looks like this:
... Since President Clinton!?
He also looks like this:
As Seen On Featuring a Video With President Obama
Okay, so what the hell am I talking about?

The Media Is The Message
If you've spent any time on conservative web sites you already know about the above two images: they are pop-under ads that come up anywhere they think Real Americans(TM) will have eyeballs. I should not have to tell you that I am not a constitutional scholar. You ought to know already I'm not a Supreme Court Justice. Hell, I'm not even an arm-chair lawyer. So how would I evaluate the constitutional argument?

The answer is simple: Google. 

When you type 'Obamacare Origination Clause' into Google you find out all about this case. Well, kinda. Actually you also find out about the Commerce Clause. That pops up a lot (that was the clause that everyone thought the first Supreme Court case hinged on). You do, however, find links that describe this. Mostly from around 2012.
Newsmax ...
When I go searching for something and my top hit is Newsmax? I'm just one click away from an imaginary where Obama is trying to suppress Over-Unity perpetual motion machines and there's a breaking story (probably Benghazi--but not those milquetoast lies CBS is telling--that's about to bring him down--assuming I watch their whole video that is).

Looking at Bing for 'Obamacare Unconstitutional:' 
Red State Is Pretty Good
I find a different reason at the top. Something about Enrollment pressures. It isn't the Pacific Legal Foundation's O-Care killing battle plan.

As of Sept 30th, 2013, Sarah Palin says in that O-Care is in fact unconstitutional because ... it violates the commerce clause. Sigh. Now, Sarah Palin is a crackerjack constitutional scholar but here's what I think: if this lawsuit was as deadly as Zach thinks it is? It wouldn't find itself most supported in the comfort-food section of the Internet (I will note that both the NRO and the American Thinker have well regarded stories on it)--but most of the stuff I found? Like this:

Let's See: Obama Refi Program at the top breaks their HTML, "Stop NSA's Spying THUGS With This Weird Trick" Promotional Video. Date Listed in A.D. -- I Hit The Trifecta!
This, simply put, is not credible. The PLF may well be credible--and maybe they even have a point or something--but I can't tell and my analysis of what everyone else thinks is that (a) serious conservatives think this is at best interesting but that (b) rabid swindle the base types (Patriots4Power) believe this is the best thing since sliced bread.

Lose Weight Fast
The reason why Get Rich Quick scams are so-titled is that everyone wants to hear that they can, in fact, get rich quick--without all the damn effort it takes to lose some freakin' weight make a lot of money win a national election--wait, I think I lost my train of thought there.

The reason conservatives are hoping Benghazi or the Fast and Furious scandal--or maybe the IRS thing will break open is because that could do what national electoral politics have proven difficult at: governing the nation from a majority of half of 1/3rd of the government. If Obama would just self-destruct we wouldn't have to listen to him on TV anymore.

It's also a pain in the ass to have to pay high power-prices and everyone knows Obama is charging you more for electricity these days. Amirite?

So just as I suspect that whatever's behind the Clinton-Face* Video--or whatever Patriots4Power sells you on those DVDs (or that One Weird Trick to get the NSA THUGS off your case?)--is a scam? I think the Obamacare lawsuit probably is about as credible.

But I'm not a legal expert.

Here's another.

Here is a great historical look at the clause itself including the note that it hasn't always held the power people thought it might.

What do I know?

* I should not have to explain about the Clinton-Face, but I will. For the True-Con / Hard Core Clinton was a disaster that never stopped happening. He slept around and got caught. He killed Vince Foster. He brought Shame to the White House. The surface message is not just that Obama will be ended (impeached) but that he will be shamed.

This is powerful to the target audience not just because "they hate Obama"--but because of their own shame around politics these days. And I don't mean the ridiculous Ted Cruz circus-act shutdown either. It fits key-in-lock like into its target audience because they feel shame at being in a country with a President who exemplifies everything they hate (left as exercise to the reader).

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