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February 18, 2011

In Contempt of America

Joe Charlebois

The Obama Administration has a terrible habit of interpreting the Constitution as it sees fit. It has acted as anything but a co-equal branch of government.


It has ignored the federal court when it overturned the ban on Gulf Shore oil drilling and just created another ban. It has now turned a blind eye to rulings by two federal court judges, one in Virginia and the other in Florida.


The ruling by Federal Judge Roger Vinson in Florida declaring The Patient Protection and Affordable Care for America Act unconstitutional by mandating that individual purchase health insurance has done little to stop the administration from pressing forward with its plans to implement this monstrosity.


To be fair, Judge Vinson did not issue an injunction to halt implementation of the law. He held that the placing an injunction on the administration would be extraordinary and he said “…officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court. As a result the declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction.” (Comm. On Judiciary of House of Representatives v. Miers, 2008)


Judge Vinson gives too much credit to this administration and their respect for judicial decisions.


What does this ruling mean? Didn’t two judges agree with the administration that it was constitutional?


Two courts did rule this legislation to be constitutional, but based on Judge Vinson’s ruling that the individual mandate provision is not severable from the entire bill, the whole bill must be deemed unconstitutional.


It is at this point under judicial review that this law is held in check. This ruling supersedes the other rulings and can only be dismissed if higher courts rule otherwise.


The administration may not technically proceed legally with the continued implementation of this legislation, thereby proving it harbors contempt for the freshman legislators who won election and have voted to overturn “Obamacare.” It has contempt for the American people who elected those freshman House members.


The administration has contempt for the over 66% who do not approve of the healthcare plan as currently enacted. Only 33% of Americans actually favor it while 51% are against it with 16% undecided (Source: CBS, February 11 – 14, 2011).


The White House under President Obama – unlike previous administrations – has no intention of honoring Judge Vinson’s ruling. It will continue to lay down the foundations of this leviathan until it becomes so entrenched that it will be nearly impossible to remove the bureaucratic apparatus.


Whether you liked him or not, former President Bill Clinton kept his pulse on the American people; he believed in the American people. He was a crafty politician who was aware of his political strengths and weaknesses. He worked with the other side of the aisle for meaningful legislation – e.g. welfare reform.


Unlike President Clinton, however, Barack Obama will not pivot and is intent on ruling from the fringe. He has no intention of “feeling our pain” – just causing it.


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