I have a few action items, but before getting to them, I am delighted to report that we filed a major brief in the Supreme Court of the United States this morning, urging the Court to take the case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
You may have heard that earlier this year the federal court of appeals for the 11th Circuit, down in Florida, held that the individual mandate provisions of Obamacare were unconstitutional, exceeding Congress's powers under the Commerce Clause. We filed a brief in that court, too, arguing the position ultimately adopted by the appellate court.
In the brief filed this morning, we urge the Supreme Court to go further, striking down not just the individual mandate but the massive expansion in federal spending as well. Noting that the exponential increase in our national debt in recent years makes the infamous global warming hockey stick chart look downright modest, we point out that our nation's Founders never intended to give Congress an unfettered spending power. James Madison thought the federal tax and spend power was limited by the other powers delegated to the national government, and Alexander Hamilton thought that spending could only be on issues of national concern, not for local or state matters such as health care. Either way, Congress is ignoring the limits of our Constitution!
Members of Congress take an oath to adhere to the Constitution, but because our Founders also understand that power has a hard time policing itself, they set up a system where other branches could serve to check exercises of power in excess of constitutional authority. Given the utter inability of Congress to control its own spending addiction, it is absolutely essential that the Supreme Court get back in the game here.
As we note in the brief, what began as a relatively small breach of the Constitution's limits on the spending power has now metastasized into a wholesale usurpation of the police power, that power reserved to the states to further the health, safety, welfare and morals of their citizens. If we are not to sink into a Greece-style debt crisis, we need to restore limits on Congress's spending power. This case is an important place to start, and I believe we have made a powerful argument urging the Court to take up the matter.
So here are the action items!
#1. Read our brief. It is a short 13 pages, and it will allow you to help us spread the word about the important constitutional argument we make regarding limits on federal spending.
#2. Download for your insomnia cure my larger scholarly article on the Spending Clause subject. Not only with this help arm you with arguments against the naysayers who believe the federal government can spending money for whatever it wants, but the more downloads my article receives, the more seriously other legal scholars and judges view the argument, and it is important for the "securing the blessings of liberty to our posterity" part of our Constitution that we quit incurring debilitating debt for our children and grandchildren.
#3. to as many people as you can and urge them to become followers of our Constitutional Commentary. Be sure to use the Forward link (either at the beginning of this paragraph or at the very bottom of this e-mail) rather than the forward feature of your e-mail program so that they see the invitation to join the constitutional commentary mailing list.
#4. Finally, and humbly, I ask that you consider supporting our constitutional litigation with a tax-deductible financial donation. You can do that by visiting the donation page of the Claremont Institute, with which our Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence is affiliated. If you are in a position to consider becoming a major supporter of our efforts and would like to speak with me about that, just send me a reply e-mail with the best contact information for you. There is much work to do, and I want to thank you all in advance for any help you can provide in supporting our efforts.
John C. Eastman