Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Mark Henry and Keith A Fournier

6/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The US Supreme Court has just unleashed a new controversy which will frame the Presidential campaign of 2012.

The Supreme Court's surprising decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, not under the Commerce Clause, but as an exercise of Congress' power to tax, shocked the press, confused the Nation and sent the experts - and the lawyers - to read, re-read, analyze and parse the lengthy and complex opinion. This dense opinion was authored for a 5- 4majority by Chief Justice John Roberts. Justices Kennedy, Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissented. The decision sets the stage for what will be the most hotly contested presidential election in decades.

Artists rendering of the argument

Artists rendering of the argument

Highlights

By Mark Henry and Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/29/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Obamacare, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Constitution, Article VI, United States Supreme Court, Religious Freedom, Mandate, Separation of Powers, Executive Order, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Rationing, Contraception,


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Thursday, June 28, 2012, while a pensive Nation watched, the Justices of the United States Supreme Court spoke on the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Affordable care Act (aka Obama Care). The Supreme Court's surprising decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, not under the Commerce Clause, but as an exercise of Congress' power to tax, shocked the press, confused the Nation and sent the experts - and the lawyers - to read, re-read, analyze and parse the lengthy and complex opinion. This dense opinion was authored for a 5- 4majority by Chief Justice John Roberts. Justices Kennedy, Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissented. The important decision has now set the set the stage for what will be the most hotly contested presidential election in decades. The opinion upholding the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") is complex and lengthy. So complex, that the eager media got it wrong.at least initially. The Supreme Court did hold that the mandate requiring Americans to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. That led to the widespread and inaccurate reporting that the mandate was struck down. It was not! The individual mandate was upheld, just resting upon a different legal basis, Congress' power to tax. However, the language in this lengthy opinion on other constitutional law will serve as an important marker. It will serve to limit the Federal Government's ability to use the Commerce clause to regulate the behavior of the States and private citizens in future cases. The effects and aftermath of this controversial law will not end with today's Supreme Court ruling.  The majority opinion, while upholding the disputed penalty provision as a tax, made it clear the Justices did not "pass upon its wisdom". However, this law stands and the reaction has just begun. The foundation upon which it stands may matter little as it relates to the public policy implications and the real effect on the lives of many people. Then again, there is a lot of the opinion left to read! The net effect of this opinion has yet to be assessed. Ironically, the Obama Administration initially argued that the penalty for non-compliance with the Affordable Care Act's mandate to purchase insurance was not a tax. However, they changed their position as the argument unfolded on the day of argument in the Chambers of the Court. Like thousands of lawyers around the Nation, we will digest this complex, dense and surprising opinion and return with further analysis. However, it is important to remember that this Case is not the end of the legal challenges to this massive legislative scheme. The other constitutional issues which result from its implementation, such as the unconstitutional violation of the Free Exercise of Religion precipitated by the HHS Mandate, have given rise to numerous lawsuits on their way to the same Court. In fact, those cases, which might have become moot had the Court struck down the Act, now become monumentally important. In addition, the US Supreme Court has just unleashed a new controversy which will frame the Presidential campaign of 2012.
----- Mark Henry is an attorney and founder of Legal Lifeguard, Inc.a provider of Catholic Pro-Life Medical Protection documents.  Get your Free Lifeguard Emergency I.D. Card.  Keith A. Fournier is an attorney who spent much of his legal career in constitutional law and engaged in public policy issues at the intersection of faith and culture. He serves as the Editor in Chief of Catholic Online. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for September 2014
Mentally disabled:
That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life.
Service to the poor: That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering.



Comments


More U.S.

Pope Francis names Bishop Blasť Cupich to replace ailing Chicago Archbishop Watch

Image of Ill from liver cancer, Cardinal George said at a news conference in Chicago that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has chosen Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich as Chicago's new archbishop. The ailing Cardinal Francis George welcomed his pending retirement after his 17 years of service, with only the highest praise for his successor. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


World population could hit 11 billion by 2100 new study reveals Watch

Image of Africa will see the largest population boom, going from 1 billion to 4 billion by the century's end. Asia will also likely rise a bit, but will peak at 5 billion by 2050 and decline.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A United Nations-led analysis published on September 18 has revealed that the world's population may reach 11 billion by 2100, which would mean two billion more people than previously expected, largely due to high birth rates in Africa. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


As death toll passes 2,600 U.S. lawmakers worry about spread of Ebola Watch

Image of Red Cross workers in Guinea in protective gear. Currently, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are the worst nations worst hit by the West African Ebola outbreak.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Legislators in Washington are becoming increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola and worry that it could become more contagious and potentially spread into the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama's new plan to put 3,000 U.S. ... continue reading


Obama gains support from House to further fight against ISIS Watch

Image of President Obama, with the support of the House of Representatives, may now start arming and training Syrian groups to fight the Islamic State, and will continue to strike targets in Iraq.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While President Barack Obama told Americans-in somewhat ambiguous terms-last week that he intended to destroy the Islamic State, as of September 17, he promised that the United States will not fight another ground war in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Values Voters: What We Can Learn from Ted Cruz Being Booed at the In Defense of Christians Conference Watch

Image of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas was the keynote speaker at what was billed as a Gala Solidarity Dinner. Sadly, it certainly did not demonstrate solidarity between Christians. A small group in the assembly, rudely and loudly, reacted negatively to some of the words Senator Cruz spoke as he expressed his convictions concerning the persecution taking place in this land which is properly holy, precisely because of its role in God's loving plan of salvation for the whole human race.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The events of Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at the Inaugural In Defense of Christians Gala make abundantly clear that there is a serious and urgent need for values voters to meet and discuss the crisis in the Mideast and ways in which we can work together to ... continue reading


Our Age Need Rebels of Love: The Christian Church is the Real Counterculture Watch

Image of As a young man I rejected secularist, atheistic humanism - but not humanism itself. As I studied the early Church fathers I came to understand that the true humanism is authentic Christianity, the kind professed, in word and deed, by the early Christians. As I read early Church history I was brought back to the mother church of the entire Christian movement, the Catholic Church. I came to believe that she offers the theological anthropology, ecclesiology and world view of the early fathers of the Church. I also came to believe that she was the real counterculture.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

We can - we will - change the culture of the contemporary West, if we are willing to suffer, struggle and offer ourselves to the Lord for the task. His power, the power of the Holy Spirit, working through us, will accomplish what we can never accomplish on our ... continue reading


What is a Catholic Deacon? Bishop Kevin Rhoades Gives the Answer Watch

Image of The Most Reverend Kevin Rhoades, the Bishop of the Diocese of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, presiding over the Mass of Ordination to the Diaconate of six new Holy Cross Deacons

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

It is a privilege to ordain you permanent deacons.  No, I didn't make a mistake.  Don't worry: you are scheduled to be ordained priests next year by Bishop Jenky!  But what happens today in the sacrament of Orders is not something transitional; it ... continue reading


ISIS among us! New York man sought to kill Iraq war veterans Watch

Image of Mufid Elfgeeh, a 30-year-old, Yemeni born man who lived in New York, attempted to send three people to Iraq to fight for the Islamic State, and purchase firearms to kill veterans from the Iraq War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Yemeni born food store owner in upstate New York sent funding to the Islamic State and attempted to sent three jihadists to Syria to fight alongside the terrorist cell while plotting to perpetrate attacks against American troops who had served in Iraq. LOS ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone: 16433 Children Buried in One Grave Watch

Image of Fr. Pavone prays at the graveside of the children

By Fr. Frank Pavone

For many years, this mass grave had no marker or headstone, just as the children have no names. But now there is a stone, and we are going to name the babies. Supporters of abortion do not want people to see mass graves in our midst. It's too disturbing a ... continue reading


Nice try! Democrats try to distance themselves from Obama for midterm, but it's too late! Watch

Image of Kentucky Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, seen here with a shotgun in an ad where she attempts to distance herself from the disastrous and unpopular policies of President Barack Obama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Grimes, is trying her best to let Kentuckians know that she is certainly not an Obama Democrat, releasing a campaign ad where she wields a gun to prove it. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Grimes' 30-second ad takes place in ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Proverbs 3:27-34
27 Refuse no kindness to those who have a right to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 15:2-3, 3-4, 5
2 Whoever lives blamelessly, who acts uprightly, who ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 8:16-18
16 'No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Thomas of Villanueva
September 22: Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter