A Supreme Court reversal of healthcare reform’s individual mandate next week would keep congressional power within proper limits, says Randy Barnett, one of the attorneys who represented the National Federation of Independent Business in its challenge to Obamacare.
The Georgetown University law professor, like many other experts, expects that the court will indeed rule against the mandate.
Such a repeal would “actually have a very limited impact defining the scope of congressional power in the future,” because the mandate exceeds by a huge margin any other rule that Congress has imposed on Americans, he told Politico
“It will basically say that this new power that Congress has never exercised before it may not exercise ever again. So if economic mandates are off the table, this is the only law that has ever been enacted that will be struck down or be called into question.”
Obamacare is “a disaster for the American people” and “a disaster for our form of government,” Barnett says. He rarely works as a lawyer and plans to resume teaching full-time after the case is over.
Barnett helped form his side’s contention that the Obamacare case is unprecedented, a “case of first impression.” That would allow the court to ignore the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and its precedents about how the government can regulate wheat farmers, marijuana growers, and gun-free school zones. Precedents are irrelevant in a case of first impression.
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