Mark Levin’s Elegant Summary of the Obamacare Litigation

by Hans A. von Spakovsky

Mark Levin is not just a great radio host. He’s an awfully good lawyer, too, as are his colleagues at the Landmark Legal Foundation. The amicus brief that Mark and Landmark filed last week on the Obamacare litigation arising out of Florida is well worth reading.

The brief’s “Introduction and Summary of Argument” is one of the most succinct, elegant, and direct summations of the basic issues that are at stake and their importance to our future and our freedom:

This case is about individual liberty, state sovereignty and federalism. Indeed, whether there remain any limits on the power and reach of the federal government is the fundamental question before this Court. Appellant’s defense of the individual mandate, if accepted, requires the Court to disregard more than 220 years of Commerce Clause application and Supreme Court precedence, fundamentally misapply the Necessary and Proper Clause and disregard the Constitution’s requirements for the laying and collection of taxes.

The heavy-handed demands of temporary politicians who seek to change fundamentally and permanently the relationship between the citizen and government in a manner that no past Congress or Executive have undertaken and which the Constitution clearly does not allow must not be given the Court’s imprimatur. The District Court correctly rejected the individual mandate and its penalty provision as unconstitutional. …

The Commerce Clause is written in uncomplicated, plain English. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution provides that “The Congress shall have Power … To regulate Commerce with Foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Congress can tax interstate commerce, regulate interstate commerce, and can even prohibit certain types of interstate commerce. There is nothing in the history of this Nation, let alone the history of the Constitution and the Commerce Clause, however, permitting the federal government to compel an individual to enter into a legally binding private contract against the individual’s will and interests simply because the individual is living and breathing. Such a radical departure from precedent, law, and logic has never been contemplated, let alone imposed upon, the American people.

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