I’m not a professor of constitutional law, and thankfully so. I think it goes without say that as we have one in the white house currently, the last thing we’d need is any more. But, that does raise for me at least, a very interesting question: If he’s a professor of constitutional law, I’d love to know which constitution.
The recent case regarding the obamacare mandate has sparked tremendous debate about its constitutionality. In a case brought by Virginia (ah yes, Virginia, home to Jefferson, the Virginia resolutions nullifying the Alien and Sedition acts) a court threw out the mandate as beyond the powers of Congress. This is but the first of many battles, one I’m going to wager here, will end up in a decision in the affirmative for the forces of the state. The only victory over this monstrosity will be willful refusal by individuals and states. Right now, we are voluntarily servile.
If one needs a JD from an Ivy League school to discuss the constitution, then we truly are doomed. In fact, the writing down of laws and posting publicly thereof, is sort of, kind of, an old tradition. The whole point is that anyone should be able to read, know, understand, and discuss the laws. Obfuscation and arbitrary laws are, how we say it, tyranny.
The crux of the argument is the “necessary and proper” clause in the constitution. So, to begin with, let’s examine the actual text:
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
I don’t claim to be a legal expert, nor can I cite from the vast number of decisions on this excerpt. Perhaps the most famous case of the N and P clause was McCulloch. I’m sure there are many others, including Wickard v. Filburn, the most heinous of decisions that allowed the government to prohibit farmers from growing wheat for their own use. I guess property rights are the first things to vanish in dictatorships!!
So, this isn’t intended to be a full blown discourse on the N and P clause history. In fact, it shouldn’t need to be. What is “necessary and proper” is for citizens to be able to read and understand the words as written. If we need specially trained lawyers to do that for us, then we’re no longer a republic.
First, let’s look at the relevant parts: “carrying into Execution the foregoing powers” and “all other powers vested by this Constitution”. That alone ought to end the debate. Clearly, the only things that the government can do must be entirely related to those powers specifically spelled out in the constitution. Nothing more. (It’s also why I have no faith in the courts. 95% of what the federal government does in unconstitutional and they’ve upheld all of it. Why stop at the remaining 5%.)
Now, it also states that this applies to the government, or any “department or officer thereof”. This surely means that the government, or any departments or officers must only execute those constitutionally authorized powers. Nothing more.
Anything else the government does, anything that is beyond the scope of its constitutionally authorized powers, is null and void. And in a sane world, that would be the end of it.
For instance, the principle of implied powers assumes that since only the federal government can make treaties and establish relationships with foreign governments, it ought to be able to provide the ambassadors travel and living expenses.
Another power is the admittance of new states into the union. Oddly enough, the issue of leaving the union was never addressed. I guess it required a bloodthirsty dictator to make union a one-way ticket.
The income tax, the life’s blood of statism, required a constitutional amendment. Ought that fact alone prove the point. If it was “necessary and proper” to tax the incomes of people, then an amendment wouldn’t have been “necessary”.
If one looks honestly at the constitution and still argues that the federal government can force someone to buy something, that they believe that somehow this fits into “necessary and proper”, then that person is either a liar or a fool. In fact, if anyone with such lofty credentials hold such a view, that speaks volumes on the credentialing institutions.
I don’t want to hear recitation of the litany of court cases supporting this, opposing that, of particular of arcane legal proceedings. It simply doesn’t matter. This is just using flawed statist logic to support even more flawed statist logic. Am I to believe that I am unable to read the document and understand it in its entirety, both its meaning and intent. The words are actually quite clear.
There is no power granted to regulate the individual health of any citizen. There is no power in the entirety of the constitution to force anyone to do anything. As such, there is absolutely nothing necessary nor proper about doing such.
This is really a very simple and easy problem. However, we live in a world where the most intelligent and enlightened can’t read. Or at the least, they cannot understand the clear and simple written word.