Ilya Shapiro nails it, and apparently, so did the judges of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Obamacare–the Affordable Care Act–is and always has been about power. Washington wants is. The people, at least people like me, don’t want to give it to them.
As the lawyer representing 26 states against the federal government said, “The whole reason we do this is to protect liberty.” With those words, former solicitor general Paul Clement reached the essence of the Obamacare lawsuits. With apologies to Joe Biden, this is a big deal not because we’re dealing with a huge reorganization of the health care industry, but because our most fundamental first principle is at stake: we limit government power so people can live their lives the way they want.
This legal process is not an academic exercise to map the precise contours of the Commerce Clause or Necessary and Proper Clause — or even to vindicate our commitment to federalism or judicial review. No, all of these worthy endeavors are just means to achieve the goal of maximizing human freedom and flourishing. Indeed, that is the very reason the government exists in the first place.
And the 11th Circuit judges saw that. Countless times, Judges Dubina and Marcus demanded that the government articulate constitutional limiting principles to the power it asserted. And countless times they pointed out that never in history has Congress tried to compel people to engage in commerce as a means of regulating commerce.
In case anybody cares, I feel the same way about Climate Change. Even conceding that the globe is warming, I’m not willing to kneel before the would-be climate demigods, certainly not before them move from their Mount Olympus mansions and give up their jets. Yes, Al, I’m talking about you.