Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Mark Henry and Keith A Fournier

6/29/2012 (3 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 (3 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... continue reading


Will religious beliefs be acknowledged when Boy Scouts starts allowing gay leaders, volunteers? Watch

Image of Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio, a Cub Scout den leader who was kicked out in 2012 for being openly gay, embraces her son Cruz Burns.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

The Boy Scouts of America is moving to change its leadership standards in order to allow openly homosexual adult leaders and volunteers. While the organization promises that individual church-affiliated councils can choose their own leaders, at least one critic ... continue reading


THE THIRD VIDEO: The latest and most shocking footage of Planned Parenthood's abortion practices (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First there was a video revealing Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually discussing selling aborted baby organs over lunch, and admitting to using partial-birth abortions to get her hands on intact ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood HACKED, private employee information revealed Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood's website was hacked by a group of hackers who managed to gain access into Planned Parenthood and acquire the site's databases, including the names and email addresses of employees. These details were released by the hackers to the public. MUNTINLUPA ... continue reading


Threatening note promising revenge attacks found on U.S. military serviceman's car Watch

Image of The anonymous note comes just a week after the tragic shooting at military locations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the windshield wiper of a car, owned by an unidentified serviceman, was a note warning the military of a revenge under investigation. Authorities believe the car was targeted because of the license plate identified the owner is a part of the military service. ... continue reading


Missouri Sheriff's 'inspiring' phrase on police patrol cars enrages atheists Watch

Image of Stone County police cars now have

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Missouri sheriff made the decision to adorn all of his station's police patrol cars with the words, "In God We Trust." It has quickly sparked up a major debate and inevitably, atheist activists are quite frustrated about it. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES -The Missouri ... continue reading


Humility not Haughtiness: Dana Milbank is Absolutely Wrong about Rick Santorum Watch

Image of Pictured: Rick and Karen Santorum at campaign launch

By Keith A Fournier

Dana Milbank was wrong in insinuating that Rick Santorum's use of the third person in referring to his campaign was akin to a - royal we. To the contrary, it reveals the heart of a humble man who deeply cares about others. Humility is such a rare quality these days ... continue reading


Does Planned Parenthood Contribute Anything of Value to Society?

Image of Margaret Sanger

By Matt C. Abbott

Granted, the Church's infallible teaching on the intrinsic immorality of contraception is derided by the libertine left, and too few Catholics assent to it. (At least some of the blame for this sad reality falls on weak and dissident clergy, but that's a subject ... 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

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... 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