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 December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


The Gender Identity Executive Order of President Obama is a Trojan Horse

Image of Most of us are familiar with the story of the Trojan Horse used by Greek soldiers to take the City of Troy. After a multi-year, unsuccessful effort to take the City, the Greeks pretended to retreat. However, Greek soldiers had left behind a large wooden horse. The Trojans found what they thought were spoils of battle, a large wooden horse. They decided to pull it into the City as a trophy of their victory. Hidden inside were an elite group of soldiers. As soon as the crowds gathered to celebrate the victory, they came out of the horse and destroyed the City from the inside.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

To equate how one engages in sexual activities with a member of the same sex - or whether one has sexual attraction to a member of the same sex - with a properly protected status such as race, creed, gender or national origin, in the enforcement of federal ... continue reading


America's best hope for 2016 is an old face: Republican's need Romney to run Watch

Image of While Mitt Romney has not said he will run for president in 2016, those close to him suggest that he will, and he is confident that he can win.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Republican party is doing a great deal of soul searching ahead of the 2016 presidential election season. It's will be tough finding a candidate that appeals to the small but vocal Tea Party, the aging and reactionary ultraconservatives and the large and ... continue reading


Government shutdown averted! House passes $1.1 trillion bill just in time Watch

Image of The House of Representatives barely managed to avoid another government shutdown by passing a $1.1 trillion spending bill just hours before the deadline.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On the verge of another government shutdown, the House managed to come in with a Hail Mary at the last minute, passing a $1.1 trillion bill on Thursday night, just hours before the deadline at midnight. More surprisingly, the rush to fund the government and ... 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, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... 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