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Recalling me post on Pete Stark and the Tea Party exchange he had recently, the question is being raised by average citizens whether the health care package passed is Constitutional.

At Politico, there is a story on just this question since Virginia has sued the federal government on using the commerce clause to dress the health care bill in Constitutionality.  The question:  can the government force us to buy/purchase something?  If it can, could the government, in principle, force us to buy the Chevy Volt?

A judge in Virgina has agreed with the state, and against the administration:

“Unquestionably, this regulation radically changes the landscape of health insurance coverage in America,” Hudson wrote in a 32-page decision filed Monday morning. “Never before has the Commerce Clause … been extended this far.”

Hudson said there was no clear legal precedent allowing the federal government to impose such a rule, even under Congress’s power to require individuals to pay taxes. However, he also conceded there was no clear precedent to the contrary.

“Neither the U.S. Supreme Court nor any circuit court of appeals has squarely addressed this issue,” Hudson wrote. “No reported case from any federal appellate court has extended the Commerce Clause or the Tax Clause to include the regulation of a person’s decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce.”

There is also a federalism issue at stake here, as there is in the immigration controversy in Arizona.
Regardless of where one stands on this issue, and with the exception of Stark (who believes the Constitution really does not matter), the Constitution is going to be a part of the debate as we move toward November.
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