The Sixth Circuit [headquartered in Cincinnati, OH] is poised to become the first appellate court in the country to rule on the constitutionality of the health care statute.Loads of lawyering to chew over here.
The case is Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, wherein a district judge in Michigan found in favor of the PPACA's constitutionality:
There is a rational basis to conclude that, in the aggregate, decisions to forego insurance coverage in preference to attempting to pay for health care out of pocket drive up the cost of insurance. . . . While plaintiffs describe the Commerce Clause power as reaching economic activity, the government's characterization of the Commerce Clause reaching economic decisions is more accurate.This is as broad a view as it gets (scroll to Roman numeral IV).
Indeed that's not just a broad reading of the Constitution, it's a broad reading of the broadest cases broadly reading the Constitution (IMO).
However the courts get to defining "commerce" to include mere "decisions,"* there remains the question of "regulating," and regulating decisions is, in effect, an exercise of thought control.
By the way, Laurence Tribe said this today:
[The Supreme Court should] treat this constitutional challenge for what it is — a political objection in legal garb.I kind of resent that. It's no political objection to ask how the power to initiate or compel commerce inheres in the power to regulate it.
Prof. Tribe doesn't even address that question. Could it be because his NYT column is more political cover than legal analysis? Hmm . . .
* As written!