Archive for April, 2012

Discussion: Government Limits

Since last week’s Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act, the President has made some fairly extreme claims about the case.

“Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”

I would like to hear your thoughts on the matter. When I started this site, I wrote that I intended it to serve not only as an educational tool for conservative principles, but as a forum for thoughtful disagreement. To that end, the floor is open. I especially want to hear from anyone who disagrees. Tell your liberal friends. I’ll start.

President Obama is completely, absurdly wrong to even begin to imply that the court’s powers of judicial review are in question. The “unprecedented, extraordinary” event he refers to is something the Supreme Court has done since 1803 with Marbury v. Madison and the Court has exercised that power dozens of times since. That’s hardly disputable, though I welcome anyone who agrees with our President on this issue.

The larger question I wanted to discuss was the same one the Supreme Court itself discussed last week. My question is, essentially, does the government have any limits?

Does the federal government have, in this case, the authority to force every citizen to purchase a private service?

Can the government do absolutely anything that “promotes the general welfare”? If so, why does the Constitution have anything beyond the Preamble?

Would a Broccoli Act be Constitutional? If Congress wrote a law saying that every adult had to go buy broccoli and eat at least one serving a day, should the court allow that because it promotes the general welfare?

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