The term usurp is a strong verb that means (1) “to seize and hold (a position, office, power, etc.) by force or without legal right;” (2) “to use without authority or right; employ wrongfully;” or (3) “to commit forcible or illegal seizure of an office, power, etc.; encroach.” Many feel that the federal government’s passage of H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, amounted to the usurpation of liberty on a grand scale.
Jon N. Hall uses the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution to argue against the “individual mandate” found in The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among other things, this federal law — derisively referred to as ObamaCare — mandates that most Americans purchase health insurance. In his article entitled “ObamaCare Flushes the Constitution,” Hall writes:
Some might wish that ObamaCare were still being defended with the Commerce Clause, as America needs clarity on the limits of that pesky clause. But a defense based on the taxing prerogative of the feds sets up what might be an even more vital precedent. The argument the states should now use to combat ObamaCare is the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.
The “individual mandate” is unconstitutional because it will be applied unequally. It seems some individuals are more equal than others — they are exempted from paying this new tax.
Exempted people under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act include those who are part of a “recognized religious sect” (i.e. the Amish), the poor, and those unable to pay. Hall argues, though, that since the White House’s own legal team defending this law from State challenges will argue that the “individual mandate” is a tax, then such individual exclusions are discriminatory, arbitrary, and unequal. As such, they must be opposed on Fourteenth Amendment equal protection grounds.
In his article Hall explains several specific flaws contained within the “individual mandate” that should render it unconstitutional by equal protection standards. In short, since the “individual mandate” is not applied equally to all people it is inherently unfair and thus violates the Constitution. He concludes with a warning of continued federal encroachment and the need to address it head-on:
Sadly, it has fallen to the states to defend the republic — the republic the states themselves created — from an out-of-control federal government. If the states’ suits over ObamaCare fail to get the judiciary to define limits to the federal government’s powers to tax and regulate, then We The People must seek other means of redress.
We’ve come to a point in America where the federal government is going to do whatever it wants to do; the Constitution seems to be is irrelevant. The Land of the Free is fast becoming The Nation of Slaves — tax slaves.
As Hall correctly noted, the federal government was the creation of the States. It has, however, become a greedy master that is rapidly devouring our freedoms and produce. Legislative behemoths like The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act usurp the Constitution on a variety of fronts, the Fourteenth Amendment being one of them. To save ourselves, we the People — along with the States — must together rise up and put this federal beast back on a short Constitutional leash.
Additional Information Related to the “Individual Mandate” and the Constitution
To Hell with the Constitution? — also by Jon N. Hall
Image Credit: renjith krishnan