Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett fired up the blogosphere with this story
, published by The Washington Post
, March 21. Barnett asked whether provisions of ObamaCare violated the U.S. Constitution, and if so, what might be done about them.
Barnett is also considered by many in the academy to be (shall we say) a bit of an outlier, because he continues to believe that courts (with some regularity) ought to be invalidating federal legislation that violates the Ninth or 10th Amendments to the Constitution.
So Barnett's approach on ObamaCare was dismissed
as either wrongheaded or "not going to happen" by some of the usual suspects
. (And by friendlies
Surprise! Barnett has a supporter, if you will, in Georgetown's Jonathan Turley, who in USA Today says
"this plan might provide a bill of good health for the public, but it could amount to a 'do not resuscitate' order for federalism."
Congress is declaring the failure to insure oneself to be an interstate matter. There is no question that being uninsured contributes to the national crisis in health care. If that 18-year-old has a car accident, it is the public that is likely to bear the costs of his care. However, if the failure to get insurance makes one the object of federal jurisdiction, it is hard to see the why other acts of omission will not be tied to national deficiencies in public health or education or family welfare.
If other constitutional scholars start asking questions, stay tuned ...