Wednesday, November 10, 2010

McConnell Files Amicus Brief in Obamacare Challenge

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has filed a friend of the court brief in the 20-state challenge against Obamacare. This is the suit that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway refused to join.

McConnell's brief focuses on the unconstitutional nature of the mandate that citizens purchase health insurance or face a fine.

This is a constitutional conservative's dream brief. It cites McCollough v. Maryland, Federalist 45 (Madison) and parses the third prong of the Lopez. In many ways, it briefs the TEA party point that Congress has ignored the limitation of enumerated powers to hijack the police powers that the Framers left the states.

According to Politico, McConnell's brief states,

that the requirement that nearly all Americans buy insurance “dramatically oversteps the bounds of the Commerce [Clause] which has always been understood as a power to regulate, and not to compel, economic activity.” He also argues that if the mandate is deemed constitutional, there will no longer be any real limit on Congress’ power to regulate citizens’ activity.

Politico, by the way, has the brief in its entirety. It was written by Carrie Serverino at the Judicial Crisis Center. Oral arguments will take place next month in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida.

McConnell gets criticized by some conservatives as not a true believer in their cause. What this brief makes clear, however, is that freed from the constraint of advancing President Bush's legislative agenda, McConnell is a constitutional conservative in the best sense. He loves the history of the framing of the constitution and has a deep respect and understanding of the constitution as a blueprint for government -- a constraint on governmental action to protect liberty.

Way before the TEA parties arose in the summer of 2009, McConnell was one of the Federalist Society's most loyal supporters. He speaks regularly at its national convention as well as many local chapters. Sure, it's trendy to run around with tri-corn hats these days, but the Federalist Society's has had a profile of James Madison for its logo for 25 years.

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