The Patrick Henry Caucus is calling on the leaders from all States to join in the effort to file a lawsuit against the federal government in order to stop the federal health care bill. The Patrick Henry Caucus says the national health care bill is unconstitutional on two counts:
- The preferential treatment given Nebraska “violates principles of due process and equal protection” under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.
- The law is “an excess of Congress’s enumerated powers inasmuch as it requires every American to acquire health insurance.”
In a The Patrick Henry Caucus on Facebook press release the Caucus wrote:
On Wednesday, December 23, 2009 The Patrick Henry Caucus adopted a unanimous position to oppose the Health Care Reform Bills, and to support a lawsuit against the federal government.
Listed below are the amendments cited. I have italicized what I think is the applicable text. Correct me if I wrong on this.
Article 1, Section 8 lists the enumerated powers (see below) which doesn’t outline any power remotely resembling health care. The general welfare clause could be used to argue for the constitutionality of health care and no doubt it will be. My question is why bother limiting what the federal government can do by enumeration if a general clause makes it all moot?
As always, I am open to discussion on this although I do believe the time for talking is over. The states must act to reign in excessive federal abuses, for we have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us.
Amendments 5 and 14
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
[Section 2-5 not listed]
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.