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 August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More U.S.

On the Memorial of St. Bernard: Lord, Send Us Monks for This New Missionary Age! Watch

Image of Bernard, Monk, Abbot, Doctor of the Church, and Model of the Christian life and vocation. - Monasteries are a seedbed of the great renewals of the Catholic Church. Monks are prophetic seeds of the kingdom who always seem to be around right when we need them the most. We need Monks for the authentic renewal of the Church in this hour. Lord, send your Holy Spirit, send us monks for the renewal of your Church and the work of this new missionary age.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Even though he was regularly summoned to leave the monastery by the needs of Church and State, Bernard was above all a monk, a man of deep prayer, communion and contemplation. It was that sincere devotion which made it possible for him to have wisdom to offer the ... continue reading


So this is where school money goes?! Watch

Image of A new study shows that massive amounts of funding go to non-teacher staff in schools, which has little impact on education quality.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Non-teacher employees make up 50% of public school employees, a number which has grown 130% since 1970, a new study claims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found ... continue reading


Romney weighs in: Obama is doing 'a good deal worse than even I expected' Watch

Image of Mitt Romney called President Obama out over numerous failures in the six years he has been in office during a West Virginia political rally.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney made quite a scene as he attended a West Virginia rally for three Republican Congressional candidates who are up for election in November. Crowds cheered "Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!" as he spoke. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Money is NOT the Root of Evil. Learning to Live Evangelical Simplicity in an Age of Idolatry Watch

Image of Simplicity is not about the quantity of the goods of the earth we possess. It is about our relationship to them. Jesus said - Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt. 6:21).

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Learning to live in evangelical Simplicity strips away what impedes love. In finding our proper relationship to the goods of the earth- not rejecting them, craving them, or turning them into an idol- we can learn true freedom. Our eyes are opened and everything begins ... continue reading


STUPID: Political analyst says indictment of Texas governor is 'the stupidest thing I've ever seen' Watch

Image of A video taken inside the jail after her arrest shows an aggressive, uncooperative Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg under restraint.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Calling it "potentially was the stupidest thing I've seen, I think, in my entire career," MSNBC political analyst Mark Halperin says the indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts of abusing his power is asinine. "I hope some judge throws it ... continue reading


Persecution: W. W. Bridal Shop Forced Out of Business Because the Owners Are Faithful Christians Watch

Image of W.W. Bridal Boutique in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania is being forced out of business because its owners are faithful Christians who believe that marriage is solely between one man and one woman.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In the first two centuries of Christianity, as the early Christians sought to serve in the broader Roman society by engaging in all suitable occupations, some occupations had to be avoided. To practice them would require them to violate their faith. As some other ... continue reading


Obama denounced as 'greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation' Watch

Image of In the face of incarceration that could arrive this year, James Risen has resorted to journalistic defiance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Denouncing U.S. President Barack Obama as "the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation," New York Times reporter James Risen now faces jail time over his refusal to reveal a source. Risen also refuses to testify against a former CIA agent accused of ... continue reading


Rick Perry on potential indictment: 'I stood up for the rule of law' Watch

Image of Texas Governor Rick Perry is fighting back against an abuse of power indictment leveled against him by Democrats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On an August 17 interview with "Fox News Sunday" Texas Governor Rick Perry insists that a grand jury indictment, which alleges that he abused his office and attempted to coerce an elected official, is unjustified. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The indictment ... continue reading


SOBERING THOUGHT: Only 11 nations on Earth NOT at war currently Watch

Image of The world in general has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007. This has bucked a trend that had seen a global move away from conflict since the end of the Second World War.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The news has been bleak as of late: A standoff in Ukraine, shelling in Gaza and Islamic State making a hash of Iraq and Syria. A think tank has some sobering news for the casual observer; as of late ONLY 11 nations are not currently at war. It's a distressing ... continue reading


Sheriff deputy plows into, kills two pedestrians, gets no jail time and may keep his job! Watch

Image of A Kern County Sheriff's deputy may return to the streets following a plea deal for community service, despite killing two pedestrians.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A former sheriff will spend no time behind bars as a result of a plea deal, although he struck and killed two pedestrians while on duty. Locals are blasting the deal as a failure of the justice system. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although national attention is ... 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, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... 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