Tags: lipsky | obamacare | court

Lipsky: Obamacare Could Spark Court Challenge

By John Rossomando   |   Wednesday, 09 Dec 2009 08:35 PM

President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform could encounter a serious court challenge, says constitutional expert Seth Lipsky.

The healthcare reform proposal before Congress now evokes memories of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, said Lipsky, author of “The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide.”

The widespread Great Depression-era program sparked constitutional challenges that almost stopped it in its tracks. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 against the Roosevelt administration, saying it lacked constitutional authority despite administration claims the Constitution’s interstate commerce clause gave Congress the authority to enact its programs.

See Video: Seth Lipsky: We are in a “Constitutional Moment” - Click Here Now
Editor’s Note: Get Seth Lipsky’s new book, "The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide" — Go here now

President Roosevelt eventually bypassed court opposition because a spate of vacancies in subsequent years allowed him to appoint justices more favorable to his policies.

Similarly to the New Deal, Obamacare will generate constitutional challenges, Lipsky told Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella, adding that he can't predict who will fight it.

“The one thing that comes into focus when one writes about the Constitution is the concept of enumerated powers,” Lipsky said. “Our government has only those powers, which are granted to the Congress in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.”

These enumerated powers include declaring war, taxation, raising armies, and protecting intellectual property through patents among 30-35 others.

“I think the ground is out before us now, and think we are in what I would call a constitutional moment,” Lipsky said. “Those of us who believe in limited government are not going to get any help from this Congress or this White House.

“And I predict we are going to end up having to turn to the Constitution itself and demand of our government where is it getting the power to do these things? I think it’s very important.”

Lipsky, former editor of the New York Sun, which closed last year, said his understanding of the Constitution stems from his years as an editor who routinely reminded reporters to hold public officials responsible to the nation’s founding document.

The Obama administration’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other terrorists in civilian court in New York City particularly befuddles him.

“It is strange credulity to me to see where the Constitution anticipated the protection of persons captured on the battlefield in a time of war with the same kind of due process granted in civilian courts,” Lipsky said. “I think one of the key words is due process, and due process requires the ability to force the production of evidence.

“How is one going to force the production of evidence if the evidence is in the vast mountain ranges of Afghanistan and we’re trying to deal with it in a civilian court in New York? It’s not the right kind of venue for these kinds of things in my view.”

War should be taken to the enemy, and withdrawal timetables should not be set, he said. The failure in Vietnam, where American troops faced serious limitations and timetables for military actions, shows how foolish setting a timetable in Afghanistan could be, he said.

World War II proved that victory becomes possible when no timetables are set and clear goals exist, he said.

“I like Reagan when he was asked about our strategy on the Cold War, and he said: ‘We win, they lose,’” Lipsky said.

See Video: Seth Lipsky talks about the Constitutional threats in Obamacare - Click Here Now

Editor’s Note: Get Seth Lipsky’s new book, "The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide" — Go here now


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