Full D.C. Circuit shown cardinal flaw in Obama’s signature law
The full District of Columbia appeals court is being asked to rule on a case against Obamacare after a three-judge panel decided the U.S. Senate can initiate a tax law, even though the U.S. Constitution’s requires that all such measures originate in the U.S. House.
WND reported two months ago when Judge Judith Rogers reasoned for the three-judge panel that if the aim of Obamacare is to force people to buy government-approved health insurance, the hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases are incidental and allowable.
The case targets the individual mandate payments, which already were declared by the U.S. Supreme Court to be a “tax.” It argues the legislation creating the payments started in the Senate, not the House, as required by Article 1, Section 7, of the Constitution.
“Because the issues in this case are so important for all Americans, PLF has a responsibility to seek review by the full D.C. Circuit, and, ultimately, by the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary,” said PLF Principal Attorney Paul J. Beard II. “Not only is everyone affected by Obamacare and its tax and regulatory burden, but we all have a stake in the integrity of the Constitution and its procedural protections for taxpayers.”
He continued: “The Founders had good reason for vesting the power to launch taxes with the House. They knew the power to tax can be abused, and they wanted to limit that danger by giving the primary authority to the chamber closest to the people. Unfortunately, the three-judge panel that ruled against PLF’s Obamacare challenge has undermined that protection for the public by announcing a disturbing new exception to it.”
The court panel said if the “main object” of a tax is something other than raising revenue, that part of the Constitution doesn’t apply.
Beard said the”loophole” allows all sorts of taxes that “could be given a pass from having to start in the House.”
“After all, many taxes have purposes other than simply to raise revenue. Cigarette taxes, for example, are designed, also, to affect behavior.”
WND reported PLF attorney Timothy Sandefur said he expects the case will end up in the Supreme Court.
“PLF’s challenge to Obamacare involves fundamental constitutional principles and protections for all taxpayers, and for everyone who is covered by the tax and regulatory burdens of Obamacare,” he said. “Americans may not be subjected to new taxes by the federal government if those taxes [don’t] start in the House, the chamber closest to the people. That’s the principle underlying our lawsuit, and it’s so basic to our constitutional framework that the case ultimately deserves a judgment by the nation’s highest court.”
The case was filed by Matt Sissel, a small-business owner who wants to pay medical expenses on his own and has financial, philosophical and constitutional objections to being ordered to purchase a health plan he does not need or want.
His attorneys argue the Constitution requires all tax bills in Congress to begin in the House of Representatives. They charge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., manipulated the legislation that eventually gave America Obamacare by taking the bill number for an innocuous veterans housing program that had been approved by the House, pasting it on the front of thousands of pages of Obamacare legislation and voting on it.
That means, Sissel argues, the entire law was adopted unconstitutionally and should be canceled, including its $800 billion in taxes.
The argument essentially makes the Constitution itself a silver bullet to kill Obamacare.
The first case to the high court challenging the Obamacare mandate cited the Commerce Clause. But the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 the law was a tax and, therefore, constitutional.
In its second decision regarding Obamacare, the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled the government cannot force company owners to violate their faith by funding abortion-causing drugs in employee insurance plans.
Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services says Obamacare was “not enacted in compliance with constitutional procedures for raising taxes,” the plaintiff argues.