By a 2-1 vote today, a Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals panel has upheld the individual mandate in ObamaCare. Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s concurrence and the dissent of District Judge James Graham (sitting by designation) sharpen the arguments considerably. Graham’s is one of the best available opinions arguing that the mandate is an unconstitutional exercise of the commerce power. And Sutton’s is far and away the best defense of the mandate’s constitutionality yet published. It could also, of course, be read as a very large query to the Supreme Court: Are you serious about judicially enforced limitations on the commerce power? Because if so, here is the mess in your own precedents that you would have to clean up to get serious about it. On the other hand, if you’d rather not, there’s always politics . . .
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More