The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Government Overreach

In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts joined liberal justices in upholding the Individual Mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. All Americans will now be required to purchase health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty tax to the IRS in 2015.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to let stand the entirety of President Obama’s healthcare reform law, except for the provision that would require states to expand their Medicaid funding, is a grave disappointment for all Americans who treasure their freedoms and religious liberty.

Regardless of the fact that it placed limits on the Medicaid provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPHCA), the Court’s failure to strike down the entire Act will result in a major infringement on the freedoms and religious liberty of all Americans.

The law still requires all participants to pay for and support abortion services for others. Included in Obamacare are provisions to:

  • Subsidize with tax-payer dollars health plans in state exchanges that may include elective abortions.
  • Prevent insurance companies from telling customers before signing up for their plan if their plan includes an abortion premium.
  • Require religious organizations such as colleges and hospitals to provide coverage for abortion pills, contraceptives and sterilizations with no exemptions provided to recognize the right of religious conscience at these institutions.

Calling the Individual Mandate a tax, and requiring all Americans to participate in state health care exchange programs will expand the power and reach of government into the private health care decisions of all Americans. The Act sets up an Individual Patient Advisory Board, which will interfere with patient's most intimate personal health care decisions. Decisions regarding services and procedures that previously would be handled by patients, their families, and their doctors alone will now be subject to the arbitrary and invasive oversight of an impersonal government regulated board that will have the final say concerning which procedures may be allowed, even at the cost of the patient’s life.

This law is one of the most coercive, invasive, and clearly unconstitutional bills passed by any congress. The Supreme Court’s decision to leave the major portion of it in place, while selectively striking down only one section of it, places the health care of all Americans under the control of the heavy hand of government and allows us to be manipulated by the willful whims of government bureaucrats.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court’s opinion is not the final say, as former Representative John Hostettler points out. "In fashioning our government, the Framers brilliantly designed a distribution of powers—including, and especially, the power of 'we the people.'”

He elaborates, "The previous Congress clearly trampled on the concept of enumerated powers plainly set forth in the Constitution when it passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (PPHCA) in 2010. However, knowing that a government populated with fallible men and women would, from time to time, act outside the constraints of the Constitution, the Framers prepared for just such exigencies. James Madison pointed in the Federalist Paper No. 44 just who has the last word on such constitutional usurpations and how they should be corrected:

In the first instance, the success of [Congress’] usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in the last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people who can, by the election of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers [emphasis added]."

According to Hostettler, "Recent history shows that this nullification process (i.e. elections) took place in 2010 when a sufficient number of 'usurpers' were turned out and majority control shifted in the U.S. House of Representatives. This change resulted in the potential for a new Congress to exercise authority that would effectively remove any impact of the PPHCA." Again Hostettler refers to the Federalist Papers, "Writing in Federalist Paper No. 58, Madison observed the substantial constitutional power of Congress:

This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure [emphasis added]."

Hostetter emphasizes, "By the determination of only one chamber of Congress to withhold the appropriation of money for the execution of programs related to PPAHCA, the new Congress can provide 'a redress of [the] grievance' created by the Act and render it of no effect. Since both chambers must agree on the passage of any appropriations bill, all that is necessary to nullify the PPHCA is the resolute opposition of only one chamber of Congress."

"The Framers of the Constitution believed that this 'great experiment in liberty' would succeed only if 'we the people' would be the custodians of our own freedoms," warns Rep. Hostettler. "If we steadfastly elect only 'faithful representatives' who reflect our fidelity to the Constitution, we will preserve the blessings of liberty handed down from our forefathers. However, if we dare to think that this greatness will be preserved outside the will of the Creator, we would do well to remember the warning of John Adams, 'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.'”

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is yet another urgent reminder that “we the people” must continue to resist any effort to seat additional liberal judges on the highest court of the land. With the Senate’s consent and approval President Obama placed two justices who do not see the need to adhere to the original meaning of the text of the Constitution. One more like them will tip the balance of the High Court.

For this reason, Truth in Action Ministries has produced Freedom on Trial, a two-part special that examines the constitutional role of the courts and the significant role of judges in upholding the values and truths inherent in the Constitution. It also reveals how judges with liberal agendas have essentially been legislating from the bench to undermine our religious liberties. The conclusion of this two-part program will show what “we the people” can do in the face of these attacks on our freedoms and liberties.

The special, Freedom on Trial, will air the first two weeks in July on television stations around the nation. To locate television stations in your area that will be broadcasting this two-part special click here. The special can also be viewed in July at the Truth in Action website:

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