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News and Developments:
Brief Analysis of the Cincinnati Obamacare Ruling
by Nikita Chirkov

Those of you who care about liberty and its future preservation have probably heard about the Cincinnati Court of Appeals 2 to 1 decision in favor of Obamacare this past Friday June 1st. However, before my liberal acquaintances begin to bombard me with “hey at least we’ve pulled one back” messages, let me assure you that this decision does not have a “binding effect” on other district courts and other cases will be allowed to continue on their own appellate level. Now let me explain to you very simply and briefly what exactly happened in this particular decision.

 

            The way the case of the plaintiff (the party which claims that they suffer from the law) is structured is different and a bit weird if you ask me. The arguments that I have written about at length were not even close to being in the spotlight of this particular lawsuit, which, let me be honest was very surprising. Instead of entirely focusing on the key issue of Commerce Clause precedent, the Thomas More Law Center argued another additional point- 1st amendment. If I were to make an educated guess as to what the plaintiffs argued under the 1st amendment, I would say the following three things:

1)      IF the government has the ability to force me to buy health care and it is AGAINST my religion to practice healthcare, then does that not violate my 1st amendment right? (Ex: Christian Scientists etc).

2)      IF the government simply taxes my failure to buy insurance, then would it not be against the 1st amendment to tax something which could be caused by a religious belief?

3)      Because only certain religious groups are penalized by the Individual mandate, the government creates a policy in which it penalizes some religions and exempts others, while the only difference between them is belief (or not) in traditional medicine. Does not then the government clearly punish some religions while rewarding others simply based on this element of their faith?

 

The first argument, if you studied the issue, is impracticable because the law specifically states that it does not apply to individuals who do not buy healthcare for religious purposes. The second, deals directly with taxing guidelines and has very little to do with the first amendment. And the third, the best of the three, requires a case to prove numerous facts before it even gets to the issue of religion. It would have to prove that a tax is a penalty (a magnitude of a separate lawsuit already) and only then move toward the first amendment. Such a case would be nearly impossible to fully prove because it would be so wide and require flawless execution of all the steps. If step one or two would be knocked out by the opposition, the whole case would collapse with it. This would definitely be one of the hardest paths to take. So my comment on this case is simply this: I don’t know what exactly could be argued to effectively win a lawsuit on the grounds of violation of the 1st amendment, and apparently the answer is not much. I do have a feeling however, that the More Law Center went with option number three, and it is their unique approach (although a correct one) which could have led to the loss of the lawsuit.

 

However, it is not the reasoning behind the 1st amendment which has caught my attention, but rather the logic and rationale behind the preposterous decision of the judges on the ground of commerce. The judges “reasoned” that individuals who are not buying health insurance what so ever, are FULLY involved in the healthcare market! Can you possibly imagine the levels of absurdity it would take inside ones mind to conclude something of this magnitude? This quite simply is shocking. Based on this reasoning, it can be safely assured that not buying a car means that you are fully engaged in auto market. Based on this reasoning, not buying soda means a full involvement in the food market. Based on this reasoning, not buying a computer means a full and complete involvement in the technology market. And based on this reasoning, the government has the authority to make you buy nearly anything because no matter what you do, you are fully engaged in commerce. Mark my words, if this is the case you can say goodbye to liberty. The government will have the authority to make you buy anything, anytime, anywhere. There will be no limits. Every state of physical existence will mean full involvement in commerce, and thus be subject to regulation. Now does that sound like a dream? Wake up- because Cincinnati upheld it as reality.

 

This is the only way the Federal government can win these lawsuits: through logic that defies reason. Because you see there is no straight forward way to make this law seem Constitutional, after all nothing allows the government to regulate ones inactivity. However no matter what happens, the fight continues. And it will continue until come the ultimate judgment day in the Supreme Court. For now, on this Independence Day, let us observe the process carefully, and prey that our liberties will be safe and federalism be preserved.

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