Essay The Supreme Court 's Opinion

Essay The Supreme Court 's Opinion

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The Supreme Court’s opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius could have been an expansion of the powers of the federal government under the Commerce Clause. Instead, Roberts sought to redefine the penalty as a tax, so to avoid defining it as a power under Congress power to regulate interstate commerce. Although I agree with Roberts reasoning so as not to uphold the law under the Commerce Clause, I also find the redefining of the individual mandate as problematic. However, I believe the issue of Severability has become of great importance when one considers the implementation of the ACA has shown that by making the Medicare expansion optional it has impaired the intended functioning of the law. Although the court has a responsibility to uphold the constitutional parts of the law, if by severing the essentially mandated expansion, it has impaired the intended functioning of the law.
Early in his majority decision, Roberts quoted Alexander Hamilton, “the Constitution is itself in every rational sense and to every useful purpose A Bill of Rights” (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Roberts 3). This as Roberts argued, is because the enumerated powers protect citizens because it limits the functioning of the government to specific functions. Roberts rejects the reasoning that the individual mandate falls under the scope of what is necessary and proper in fulfilling the government’s aims, even if it is necessary to fulfill the government’s aims. This was due to past precedents in United States v. Comstock and McCulloch v. Maryland, which found that these clauses pertain to those policy decisions that are incidental and not a significant expansion of powers beyond what is enumerated. More ...


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...of Congress to regulate by the simple reason that he will one day engage in commerce, the ideas of a limited government is at an end” (National Federation, Scalia 12). Past precedents have found a limit to Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, to rule in favor of the mandate under the Commerce Clause in this case, would be an unprecedented expansion of federal power. This would further remove limits previously established by precedent granting the federal government power to create commerce. As both Scalia and Roberts made the case, this power to mandate economic activity is not enumerated under the Commerce Clause. However, Ginsburg points out that in the past the government has mandated engagement in commerce. With that being said, each of these mandates was done under other enumerated powers and not under the Commerce Clause (National Federation, Roberts 18).

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Essay The Supreme Court 's Opinion

- The Supreme Court’s opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius could have been an expansion of the powers of the federal government under the Commerce Clause. Instead, Roberts sought to redefine the penalty as a tax, so to avoid defining it as a power under Congress power to regulate interstate commerce. Although I agree with Roberts reasoning so as not to uphold the law under the Commerce Clause, I also find the redefining of the individual mandate as problematic. However, I believe the issue of Severability has become of great importance when one considers the implementation of the ACA has shown that by making the Medicare expansion optional it has impaired the inte...   [tags: United States Constitution]

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